September 19, 2023


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The square-cut sea level door in the rock serviced a barge that winched materials up to the Ocean Shore Railroad tunnel that ran roughly parallel to the shoreline.

Sorry, Dan, but although that "opening" on the beach looks suspiciously artificial, it is not part of the tunnel for the Ocean Shore Railroad. The south portal of the tunnel was much higher off the waterline on the level of the railroad bed and to the west. This opening might have been part of creating or maintaining the railroad bed that fell, it might have been part of quarry operations that shared the cliffside with the railroad in this stretch, or, more likely, it is due to something else.

A good quick reference and starting point for local coastal zone information of this sort is the thin but well-researched, -organized, and -referenced book THE LAST WHISTLE by Jack R. Wagner (1974, Howell-North Books, Berkeley, CA). Anyone interested can dig up a copy on their own (Amazon, AbeBooks, alibris, etc.) or give Florey's a go at running down a copy for you.

Below the old Ocean Shore Railroad bed on the south side of Pedro Point, not on Devil's Slide. But, then, the media almost always get location names wrong in this area. Whatever, it's obviously built out of found materials, and thus a bit of a non-destructive, environmentally positive concentration of artificial items in a location partially returning to nature. But, aside from that, what an incredible statement at its max that could only have come from a highly innovative artistic mind directing his hands-on human-scale labor. I love the rope access from the old railroad bed rather than being confined to low-tide walks around the point. When the guy is done with it, and not until, perhaps we could organize a haul-away of the artificial materials rather than let them become dispersed in the ocean.

A dangerous spot to be during any weather...
Link to video of the building:

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