It's a mystery to me...
As I flew out of the San Francisco airport on a clear fall day, I noticed a vast imbalance in the landscape below, an asymmetry that I couldn't quite understand. See that image above? Notice anything odd about it?
I noticed that while there's a lot of development (houses, shopping centers, etc.) on the north side of the strait, there's very little on the south side.
This region of the greater San Francisco Bay region is a series of towns that have varied in size and importance over the years. The lone village in this singular blank spot is Port Costa, and just to the west of that village is Crockett, home of the C&H Sugar factory. If you shift to the east, you'll find Martinez, the former Pony Express stop, county seat, and home to John Muir for the last third of his life.
But there's a big gap between Crockett and Martinez, a large region of undeveloped land. It seems inconceivable to me that there wouldn't be SOME development between those two cities. Why isn’t it more like Cinque Terre, with trails, small villages, fine restaurants and not just a strip of underappreciated shoreline? Mind you, I'm not advocating for that--I love this stretch of the Carquinez Strait and I appreciate the quiet when I visit, but I'm puzzled. Why is it like that? So here's this week's Challenge:
1. Can you figure out what's going on in this stretch of otherwise unused coastline? Is it really the "Lost Coast" of the North Bay? Why so... empty? What didn't happened here?
The perfect answer will probably be some kind of historical briefing: What happened to this stretch of the coast? Why was it left alone while everything around it turned into cities?
Of course, in some sense, this is the dog that didn't bark--the missing piece. And that's always a bit difficult.
So be sure to tell us HOW you figured this out! Let us all know in the comments.
Here are two more images to give you a bit of context and maybe a few clues.
|The Carquinez Strait is just south of Vallejo (top center) and Concord (slightly down and to the right).|