As promised, I am finally sharing my photos from our recent road trip that included the driving of Highway 1. We picked it up in Monterey and drove it in one day all the way to Cambria.
This iconic road can be traced back at least to April 21, 1894 when the S.S. Los Angeles ran aground near the Point Sur Light Station about 25 miles south of Carmel. When Dr. John L. D. Roberts, a medical doctor living on the Monterey Peninsula, raced to the scene in his horse-drawn wagon taking 3 ½ hours to make the trip, he became convinced of the need for a road along the coast all the way to San Simeon. In 1897, Dr. Roberts made the trip from Monterey to San Simeon on foot and estimated the cost of a road to be $50,000. Although he promoted the road for access to the spectacular scenic beauty of the region, he was also a land speculator and entrepreneur, and recognized the business aspects of tourist travel. Originally, it was proposed as a scenic highway, but it wasn’t appropriated until it was viewed as a road for its military value in defense of California. A $1.5 million bond issue was placed on the ballot, but the intervention of World War I delayed its approval until 1919. Construction of the road began in 1922. Laborers and engineers quickly discovered the major challenges with constructing the highway. The steep terrain was difficult to penetrate; remote and dangerous conditions deterred most workers; and accidents and earth slides were common events, frequently damaging expensive equipment.
More photos to follow next week with the completion of the story in the building of Highway 1. Until then, enjoy the rugged beauty!