Friday, January 6, 2017

Point Mugu Rock

Gateway to Malibu






Geological landmarks give a traveler relief and gratification.  When I spot Mt. Shasta,  I know the Oregon border isn't far. And when I spot this big monster of a rock on Highway 1, I know that Malibu is literally just around the corner.

  Sure, my trusty GPS always tells me where I am at any given moment, but until I see something out there in the real world, I'm never entirely certain.
  Driving the scenic Pacific Coast Highway through Malibu has always been my route of choice when going to Los Angeles.  The highway, of course, is famous the world over for its beauty, especially the Big Sur section, but this little stretch north of L.A. is unbelievably serene.   The beach adjacent to Mugu Rock is often devoid of mankind, which is truly incredible in a metropolitan area of 18 million people.

I stop here often to catch my breath.


Few people know, however, that Point Mugu Rock, is man made.  Sorta.  Back in the 1930's when the PCH was being built, the section around this promontory challenged the engineers.  This is where the furthest end of the Santa Monica Mountains hit the ocean.  A huge vertical ridge blocked the road.  What to do?  Stop here?  Tunnel through?  Go up and around?

"Let's blast through the sucker," someone decided.  And so they did. With 107 tons of explosives.  They divided a mountain in half.  Mugu Rock is its western end.  The Pacific Coast Highway was now complete.

And another geological landmark was born.





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