Monday, January 31, 2011

Thematic Photographic - Curves

"Thematic Photographic" - Carmi at the blog Written, Inc. presents a weekly themed photographic challenge. This week's theme is CURVES.

Morning traffic going down the S-curves

Living where I do, in a coastal canyon near Los Angeles, one of the first things that popped into my head when I read Carmi's theme "CURVES" was the road I travel every day - our infamous Topanga "S-curves."

On a map, the ten or so miles of California state route number 27 between the 101 freeway and Pacific Coast highway looks like a strand of linguine dropped onto a tablecloth. It wriggles and twists and curves back on itself.

It's a two-lane blacktop road that follows the path of the creek that carved this canyon, and it's the only way in or out of the place we live.

At the foot of the curves, on a rainy night

When you turn into the canyon from Pacific Coast Highway, you're about 10 feet above sea level. Although the twists and turns the rise is at first imperceptible, but suddenly you find yourself surrounded by cliffs looming on each side.

Around a deep curve to the right, you soon see it - the road clinging to the side of the cliff as it climbs. During the winter evening rush-hour, the string of red tail-lights coils up the mountain like a garland. Sheer cliffs rise on one side, and on the other a deep chasm looms to the creek, with more cliffs beyond.

The switchbacks can be terrifying the first time you drive them, but for us they've become routine. Topanga kids learn to drive on these roads, and I remember the first time I sat in the passenger seat while Our Son, at sixteen, steered our car down the slaloms.

That's a signature moment in parent-child relationships.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Hurray for Highway Cam!

cactus petunia said...

That's some road you travel every day! It reminds me of the road I used to take over the Santa Cruz Mountains from Boulder Creek to Highway 17. The locals used to drive it like maniacs, and everyone else just white-knuckled through the curves, vowing to take the long way around next time.

21 Wits said...

Oh yeah these are great curves!

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

It's a lovely series of photos, but I can't help but feel let down.


Recovering horndog

Anonymous said...

Much more dramatic, scenic, and frightening (esp. when a parent to a teen at the wheel!) than the S-Curves of I-405.