01 February 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 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; 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 about what was once here… and what is still here, buried beneath the dirt and gravel.
We will also view the Nike Radar Acquisition Site  SF-09C and the former location of Grande Vista Sanitarium, also known as the Belgum Sanitarium.

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

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 of Nike Missile Launching site SF-08 and Nike Missile Launching Site SF-09 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 is unusual in that it has two launching sites versus the more common, one launching site per location. Two missile launching sites had the ability to launch twenty-four missiles simultaneously. The picture was taken from a plane, and the view is looking northeast. 

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

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.

 San Pablo Ridge Trail.

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

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 

"Photography has not changed since its origin except in its technical aspects, which for me are not important." Henri Carter-Bresson

"There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer." Ansel Adams

"The important thing is not the camera but the eye." Alfred Eisenstaedt

The first volume of the San Francisco Bay Area Photo Blog contains galleries of photographs posted on the Internet between 2002 and 2011. Click Here to view those photos.

Question or comment? I may be reached at neil@mishalov.com.