1897: The Road to Pescadero (Pssst You had to ride in the stagecoach)

From John Vonderlin
Email John ([email protected])
Hi June,
   This is from the July 4th, 1897 issue of “The San Francisco Call.” 
 A   Picturesque   Road.

One   of   the   most   beautiful   and   pictur – 
esque   roads   in   all   California   is   the   one
that   leads   from   San   Mateo   to   Pescadero.
In   all   it   is   about   twenty-eight   miles   long,
but   it   contains   in   that   length   many   differ – 
ent   varieties   of   scenery.   It   is   all   interest – 
ing,   and   after   a   person   has   been   over   the
road   once,   there   is   sure   to   be   a   desire   to   go
The   road   in   question   leaves   San   Mateo
by   passing   tbe   beautiful   grounds   of   the   big
hotel,   and   from   there   winds  slowly   up – 
ward   and   westward.      One   of   the   first
points   of   interest   to   be   seen   is   a   balanced
rock.   This   natural   curio   stands   by   the
wayside   about   three   miles   out   of   San
Mateo,   and   close   to   the   left-hand   side   of
the   road.   It   rises   about   a   hundred   feet
into   the   air,   and   like   all   other   freaks   of
the   same   kind   makes   one   wonder   why   it
does   not   fall.   This   freak   is   not   mentioned
in   any   guidebook,   but   it   is   well   worth   go – 
ing   a   few   miles   to   look   at.
For   a   time   the   road   winds   upward
along   the   sides   of   a   creek   that   is   tumbling
on   its   way   to   the   sea,   then   makes   a   sud – 
den   sweep   around   a   bluff     and   commences
a   climb   that   does   not   cease   until   one   of
the   highest   points   of   the   Coast   Range   is
To   tell   all   about   this   road   would   be   a
long   story.   It   is   enough   to   say   that   it   is
picturesque   and   beautiful,   and   that   in   a
journey   over   it   one   passes   some   of   as
bright   bits   of   nature   as   can   be   seen   on   the
face   of   the   earth.   The   ride   down   the   val – 
ley   just   before   Half   moon.   Bay   is   reached
is   particularly   beautiful   and   pleasing.
After   leaving   Halfmoon   Bay   the roads
passes     through     Purissima,     San     Gregono
and   other   pretty   hamlets.  On   the   route
there   may   be   seen   the   ruins   of   Alexander
Gordon’s   old   grain   chute,   which   must      be
conceded   to   have   been   one   of   the   greatest
feats   of   engineering   ever   attempted   in
California.   Near   the   same   place   is   all
that   is   left   of   the    famous   wood   tree
bridge.   In   nearly   all   seasons   of   the   year
the   trip   over   this   road   in   the   stage   is   most
enjoyable.   There   is   something   to   interest
on   every   foot   of   it   from   the   time   you   pass
from   beneath   the   oaks   at   San   Mateo   until
the   salt   air    strikes   your   nostrils   at   Pes – 
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