I received this from a local (South Coast) businessman:
“Sorry kate..i don’t follow the ‘local vernacular names of slides..’ not sure where ‘Paul’s Slide’ is.” Hmmm… You don’t follow?? What does that mean? You think these are just the names we locals made up for each other? Paul’s Slide is north of the Rock Shed, and south of the Hermitage. It is listed on Cal Trans – and many other Mile Markers guides. As I was answering him/her, I realized that many of you are relatively new to my blog or the South Coast and may not know the history of the names of our most re-occurring slides.
Paul’s slide was named after Paul Collins who worked with Rock Knocker in the 80’s and 90’s at Willow Springs. Some of these names have persisted for over 60 years. Long before many of us were even here. Paul’s Slide, as a name, has only been around a bit over 30 years. I have been sworn to secrecy as to WHY Don Harlan named this one Paul’s Slide.
Here is what I responded to the South Coast business man.
“XXXX, these aren’t “local vernacular names of slides.” Don Harlan named them. And all Cal Trans and the locals follow the tradition Don started.
Don Harlan was born and raised here. His family dates back to the 1800’s. [He watched the North and South sections of Highway One get connected in the 30’s.] They had equipment on the ranch which he learned to run as a child, and when Cal Trans needed an equipment operator, they hired him. He was sent up to Livermore, where he was a lead worker, and then he was returned to the South Coast as Supervisor at Willow Springs in the 50’s until he retired in the 80s. He taught Rock Knocker every thing he knows. He came to Rock Knocker’s and my wedding (in 1993) wearing his hard hat when he was in his 80’s. He was never without it.
Don Harlan typed up the names of all the slides in an 11 page document, how the names came to be, and a hand drawn map of the area indicating where they were. I scanned and posted all of this in a continuing story on my blog a few years ago. Don Harlan was an Original Road Warrior, and there was no one like him then, and none now. Cal Trans has a copy of this historic document, as do I. I scanned it.
If you are interested in the area in which you live, look it up on my blog. Then read it….”
Here is my introductory piece to get you started. Now it is up to you to learn the rest. (Enter Don Harlan or Personality One in the search box for more.)
Also, one might be interested in reading the geological history and definition of terms about rock falls, rock slides, debris flows etc. with maps etc. which can be found in the pages links to the right on the History of Highway One.
This is an absolutely fascinating study on the history of mud and rock slides along Highwsay One in Big Suri from the opening of the hiway until 2000. MUST read for all of us interested in this,
History of Closures of Highway One in Big Suro (Thanks Jeff Mallory for finding this and sharing it.)