Wednesday, April 8, 2015

D is for Driving The Canyon

“Bewegung, dirne! Geh aus dem weg!” ~ Ludacris

    Let me just start by saying “I hate driving the canyon!” For anyone who doesn’t know what I’m talking about, let me explain. Where I live, the main way to get to the nearest large city, Bakersfield, is State Route 178. It’s also known as Hwy 178.

 It winds and twists and turns, eventually cutting through a man-made canyon until you get about 15 miles outside of Bakersfield.  “The Canyon”, as it’s known to locals, is notorious for it’s numerous and sometimes dangers curves. 

It is scary as hell! As well as many twists and turns, to one side there is sheer rock face and the other is a plummet down into the Mighty Kern River, killer of many! Back in the 20’s, the road was extremely narrow and poorly paved. Many people died as a result of the poor road conditions. 

There are ‘watch for falling cows’ signs. People, and cars, line the side of the road, looking around and taking pictures. Rocks occasionally fall down onto the road. People climb the cliffs and sometimes they fall or knock debris down into traffic. 

Last year we had a mudslide and it washed away half the road. The water came down the off the mountains and washed half the road over the edge and down into the river. They rebuilt it. 



   Man may have built the 178 through The Canyon, but nature still dominates there. And we have to be aware and have respect for that. If we think we completely control nature then we forget to beware the hazards of the wilderness.