Angeles Crest Highway, which climbs out of La Cañada on the way to Palmdale, is usually one of the most dangerous roads in the United States.
By Reg Green
Not only does it wind its tortuous way around innumerable blind curves through a wilderness of mountains rising to five thousand feet with in places steep rocks on one side and up to a thousand foot drop on the other, but every morning a stream of cars roars south into the Los Angeles area, three or four lengths apart, each one relentlessly pushing the one ahead if it slows momentarily. One morning recently at around six o’clock I counted153 cars coming toward me in the 1.5 miles drive to trailhead. From mid-afternoon the flood is reversed.
Not today, however. On the same distance I saw no car coming down and only one driving up — and it was a police car. In the hundreds of times I have used that road I have never seen it like that and felt perfectly safe standing in the middle of it to take photos. Is everybody staying at home to celebrate Lincoln’s birthday? I asked myself.
Not quite. It turned out that a fall of rocks and snow thirty miles away had forced those thousands of commuters off their usual wild ride.
Too bad, you guys. Your commute is painful enough as it is. But it did give me a heady feeling of being alone in that huge bowl of mountains — like the only survivor after a nuclear attack.
Reg Green is a journalist living in La Cañada. His seven-year old son, Nicholas, was shot in an attempted carjacking in Italy in 1994 and his organs donated to seven Italians. Since then he has run a charity, The Nicholas Green Foundation, whose purpose is to increase organ donation worldwide. His latest book is “90 And Not Dead Yet.”
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