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Straighten the Curves

Posted by
Stephen Phillips (San Francisco, United States) on 10 November 2008 in Miscellaneous and Portfolio.

When I first drove the highway between San Francisco and the California North Coast, in 1970 - it was a real adventure. The highway was almost entirely two-lane blacktop, much of it steep, winding, and narrow. Logging trucks with massive loads would ride up to your car's rear bumper - no matter how fast you were going.

The road through the section pictured here ran over a viaduct that cut into the granite hillside, hanging precariously over The Eel River below.

With a few short exceptions - the entire trip is now over four lane highway. The bridge pictured here will replace one of the most narrow and dangerous of the old sections. Two large gaps remain in the yet unfinished bridge. We will examine details of this engineering feat over the next few days. [series: one of four]

© copyright 2018 by Stephen Phillips Photography / Oakland, California /
please respect these rights - do not copy or use these images without permission.

Lorraine from Gatineau, Canada

How beautiful it is, I'm looking forward to photos of San Fran ;)

10 Nov 2008 6:49am

Anthony Lambert from Bielefeld, Germany

Stunning scene !!

10 Nov 2008 7:24am

gbe from kansas city, United States

great view. i'm ready for another tour!

10 Nov 2008 2:55pm

@gbe: Be very careful what you wish for. We've been on this tour since October 6th and I'm heading back up there tomorrow (I'm out of cheese). I have so many images backed-up that I'd love to post. Such a big, fascinating, and often beautiful world to explore - and the gratitude of being able to share it!

Lacey Field from San Francisco, United States

Yup, that looks like home. I miss it a lot sometimes.

10 Nov 2008 3:20pm

@Lacey Field: G'morning dear friend. I'm heading back in the morning and you are welcome to come along. I'll be returning Thursday or Friday. I'll call you.

Alun Lambert from cheshire, United Kingdom

very nice place. good shot

10 Nov 2008 6:23pm

Paco Díaz from Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Wow it is a long bridge and good panoramic.
Thanks for your comment.

10 Nov 2008 6:38pm

Calusarus from St Sorlin en Valloire, France

A nice explanation for this shot.

10 Nov 2008 6:52pm

Suzanne Cummings from Huntington Bch, United States

Oh my, the last time I drove that road was in 1975. I can't imagine a 4-lane highway. Very nice shot, BTW.

10 Nov 2008 7:43pm

@Suzanne Cummings: It has changed a bunch, Suzanne. There are still some areas of two-lane blacktop up around Willits and Laytonville. But the vast majority of the roadway is wide four-lane with a good median. No center divider yet posted at 65 mph. Crazy. Even long stretches between Eureka and Crescent City are four-lane, and you can sense it will all be this way in the not too distant future. A little sad, as you definitely loose the feel of a place when you just cruise past.

Observing from West Cheshire, United Kingdom

That is a big change for the area, an elevated highway. It looks lovely around there, lots of pine forests.

Very good shot ;)

10 Nov 2008 9:47pm

@Observing: I hope you get to catch the next three images of this little project coming up.

JJ from Jersey City, United States

Sounds like some of the roads back home, looking forward to this series

11 Nov 2008 1:18am

@JJ: Where was home?

Walter from Watkinsville, United States

I began around her in the Southeast (Ga, TN, the Appalachian Trail), been to the NE (Vermont, NH, Maine), then to Colorado (Rocky Mountain National Park), the NW (Oregon) and finally to the Grand Canyon. I must now make a point to head directly west to California to see some of this big world you are showing me.

11 Nov 2008 1:20am

@Walter: Our 'Golden Gate' is officially open for you , Walter - come ahead. The forecast is for some beautiful and warm weather this week.

One from Açores, Portugal

Very interesting image, I am curious to see the next.

11 Nov 2008 2:14am

dj.tigersprout from San Bruno, CA, United States

talk about dangerous jobs -- i wonder how long this project has taken them -- do you know? beautiful distanced view here, are you on the original, dangerous road at the moment? or hiking on foot?

11 Nov 2008 5:41am

@dj.tigersprout: A couple of years I think - and they're just about done.