The “Personality One” by Don Harlan, or How Elephant’s Trunk Got its Name – Introduction

I first ran this multi-part series in 2014. If you are a long-time follower of this blog, you will remember it. Given the recent Rat Creek slip out. I thought it would be fun to run again. Don has been gone for many years, and the road surely misses him. He was born in town, but brought back to the Harlan homestead near Lucia by horseback before the road was completed when he was only days old. He was on the original Willow Springs Station road crew and eventually became its foreman/supervisor.

Don Harlan is the original road warrior. He worked Highway One for many, many years. He was the Supervisor at Willow Springs when Rock Knocker first came to work there in 1980. Don was part of the Lucia Lodge Harlan’s and grew up and was schooled down here. He had many road stories, dating back to the 30s, when he watched the north and southern portions connect.

In 1971 he wrote an article which is passed on to the Supervisors (foremen in Don’s time) who work this section of the Highway. Greg DeAlba, the supervisor in 2014 shared this with me, and I think it would make an interesting serial for this blog. In it, Don describes the various trouble spots and how they came to be named. There is nothing PC about this piece, but it is a delight to read, both for the historical value and for Don’s writing style. He was one of a kind. Long after he retired, he showed up to Rock Knocker’s and my wedding in his hard hat. He never left home without it.

On Mondays, absent an emergency fire, flood, or road closure, I will be offering a segment of this piece, as it is 11 pages, single spaced. I am taking photographs of each portion, rather than re-typing it so that it is entirely true to the man Don was – and I can’t mess it up! Look for part 1 next Monday.

6 thoughts on “The “Personality One” by Don Harlan, or How Elephant’s Trunk Got its Name – Introduction

  1. Thank you Kate, yes my dad was one of a kind and there is a lot of memories of him and the coast, he is truly missed.

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