Sunday, February 1, 2015

Nike Missile Launching Sites SF-08L and SF-09L & Nike Radar Acquisition Site SF-09C: 1 February 2015

The majority of this ramble takes place in Wildcat Regional Park. We will pass the site of Nike missile launching sites SF-08L & SF-09L, as we walk north on Nimitz Way. This was the location of a large six-battery surface-to-air missile site; it was built during the Cold War. The SF-08L & SF-09L buildings were removed in the early1970s. The underground missile storage areas were covered with two or three feet of gravel and dirt, but the underground magazines are still there. The earthen berms separating the batteries from the liquid fueling area are still present. Very few people who pass this location have an inkling as to what was once here… and what is still here, buried beneath the dirt and gravel.
We will also view the site of the Nike Radar Acquistion Site  SF-09C, and the former location of Grande Vista Sanitarium, also known as the Belgum Sanitarium.


A map of the route. The approximate distance traveled as tracked by GPS was 14.7 miles. The approximate cumulative elevation gain was 2,259 feet. Mile markers are shown on the route’s track. The ramble started at the North Berkeley BART station and it ended at the El Cerrito del Norte BART station.

A graph that shows the elevation changes encountered during the ramble.

THEN: This photograph was taken sometime between 1959 and 1968. Four of the six launching platforms are visible. One of the launching platforms has four Nike Hercules missiles loaded, and in firing position. This missile battery had the ability to launch twenty-four missiles simultaneously. The picture was taken from a plane and the view is looking northeast. 

NOW 

This coyote is roaming through the former location of Nike missile launching site SF-08L & SF-09L. The view is looking east.

THEN: This is an airborne photograph of Nike Missile radar acquisition site SF-09C. This picture was taken sometime between 1959 and 1968. The view is looking northeast.

NOW What once was is no more.

This is a view of the San Pablo Reservoir Recreation Area, with beautiful Mount Diablo overlooking the scene.

This is a view from the San Pablo Ridge Trail with Mount Tamalpais in the background.

Another scene of the lovely and serene San Pablo Ridge.


The San Pablo Ridge Trail. San Pedro Mountain which is located in Marin County, is in the background.


Wait, is that San Pablo Ridge Trail... or is it a roller coaster?

The Grande Vista Sanitarium, aka the Belgum Sanitarium was established in what is now known as Wildcat Canyon Regional Park. We will view the site.

The palm trees that were planted at the Grande View Sanitarium many years ago still remain as a reminder of what once was, and is no more. This view is looking southwest.


“A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.”-Dorothea Lange

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