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Veronique de Turenne

When it takes two hours to travel ten miles

Malibu traffic this summer has been off-the-charts awful and on Saturday, I got the worst of it. Kanan Dume Road, the main artery from the 101 to Zuma Beach, was gridlocked. Starting ON the freeway. And because an errand had taken me to Agoura Hills that afternoon, I was caught.

No problem, I thought, after it took 20 minutes to drive 20 feet. I'll ditch the worst of it by taking Mulholland Highway, already one of my favorite roads, back to Malibu Canyon and head home that way.

Great idea, except Malibu Canyon Road? Closed. So, long story short, I took Piuma Road. (And if you know enough about Santa Monica mountains geography to point out that to get to Piuma you have to drive down the supposedly closed Malibu Canyon road, I have only this to say: hush. Also, unmanned barricade.)

Piuma is, to put it mildly, twisty.

Piuma Road. omg


And steep.

Piuma Road. Deep breath.


But if you've never really had a sense of the mountain range that splits LA in two, then you should take a Valium and drive it.

Piuma vista

santa monica mountains


Slowly.

Piuma and the view.


You wind up far above Malibu Canyon Road:

view of Malibu Cyn Rd from Piuma


Where you get a great view of the Rindge Dam:

Rindge dam


the old Rindge dam


Why was Malibu Canyon Road closed on the hottest Saturday of the summer so far?

Las Virgenes road work


It looks like crews were replacing electrical poles.

road work in Malibu Canyon


And the payoff for all the traffic and detours and delays (and the joy of re-joining PCH at Las Flores for another stop-and-go half hour) was a vertiginous view of the Pacific, the color blue split wide open, that had the little point-and-shoot utterly outmatched.

the view from Piuma

Next entry: Fine feathered friend

More by Veronique de Turenne:
Fine feathered friend
When it takes two hours to travel ten miles
Misty
The beach here this morning
Pop quiz
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Next story: Fine feathered friend

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