Gray Slip, A perspective

There is a historical slide south of Mud Creek that many of you may not have heard of, or may not remember. This is Gray Slip. Madonna dug into this area during the repairs to Mud Creek to obtain dirt (as if there wasn’t enough at Mud Creek?) and transport it back to Mud Creek. Rock Knocker watched from above many times as they would bring a load of dirt from Gray Slip to Mud Creek, and then turn around and do it all over again. He couldn’t figure out why they did that, and to this day does not know why.

Rock Knocker went through some of his old Gray Slip photos, and I found some in an album I put together of a few of the major slides from 1980-1993. I also have an album I made from the El Niño of 1995. I did some online research and found a couple studies from 2001 re the major slides (40 page report I downloaded into iBooks; here is a link I found to the report so that you can download it.


and another one on Erosion and Revegetation Management Report done by CSUMB and Rana Creek Restoration and Paul Kephardt done in Dec. 2000. ( ) Both provide some interesting insights into what we may see this winter in this spot and others.

This is a shot of Gray Slip from above taken this summer:


You can see all the water in the pit Madonna dug here in this photo from July. There are other areas not in this photo that are also showing water coming out, even now, in October, after a very dry summer season.

Earlier this month, Rock Knocker and I were coming back from a town trip south, and I asked if he could stop so I could take some photos. I had noticed quite a bit of water coming out of the hill, and noticed the cracks above where the Madonna team had dug out a pit in the mountain. I wanted to document this. He walked up and took photos on 10/8/18. He hiked up even further on 10/13/18 and took even more photos.

Throughout the coming weeks, I will be posting some of the historical photos I have of this area, some of the photos and data charts from the 2 studies mentioned above, and after I have done that, I will share some of this month’s photos. This project will take me a few weeks to complete.

~ by bigsurkate on October 15, 2018.

10 Responses to “Gray Slip, A perspective”

  1. Thank you Kate…. Very interesting…. but for you and RK we would not have this info….


  2. Madonna’s Engineer and Rock Knocker have a $20 bet on whether it will give out after the first heavy rain. RK thinks it will.



  3. Gray Slip Chronicles another chapter ready to form – who gave the ok to move that mud? How long did that slip take to repair?


  4. The Gray Slip has had a number of slides which I will be chronicling this week, and perhaps next. Who gave the ok? Well, I would hope Cal Trans Engineers had a say in that, but frankly, I do not know.


  5. Andrew, I checked with Cal Trans and the Construction division of District 5 approves all things like this.


  6. BSK, I gather CDD5 has a USGS historian that can predict future land slips on the amount of mud taken from the same area – who aids them making a call it’s safe to do so ? I guess the tech nowadays is more reliable to forecasts similar slips?


  7. I don’t know that Cal Trans “has” a USGS historian, but I do know they communicate and share info. Whether they did on this situation, I do not know.


  8. looking forward to your project – fascinating


  9. One sign of geo-instability to watch for is shifting locations of water release from the hillsides.


  10. Yes, it is the first thing we look at, and there are several instances of that here. Also, you must control the water so that it doesn’t go over or under the road bed.


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