Well, I found that “they” they have finally completed all the high voltage line work up along the Mt Gleason Road….so there were no heavy trucks going by, and the road had been adequately patched in the places where it had been broken up. Last year’s trip:
And two years ago
So I had a quiet ride!
This time I wanted to do a bit of “industrial archeology” to see what further signs of the old Nike Hercules base LA-04 still remain. LA-04 was decommissioned in 1974. The Integrated Fire Control radars had been located on the summit, and the missiles, launchers and admin/barracks had been located above the saddle between Gleason and Little Gleason. The latter had been turned into fire fighting Camp 16, which had been obliterated during the Station Fire of 2009.
This is the northern side of the camp. Beyond is a large dirt area that had irrigation pipes, I think they are trying to re-forest it. There are no signs of the launchers that I could see. The Nike Hercules missiles carried nuclear warheads. So there used to be nuclear weapons stored around here. The fire damage makes it look like they exploded…
Moon setting on Mt Gleason to the west, through the telephoto
I had managed to ride the first 6 or 7 miles, then as usual the push up the steep part, then I can ride again at the summit plateau.
What the summit looked like once: The water tanks (which still remain) are clearly visible. The large dome housed the High Power Acquisition Radar, and the Low Power Acquisition Radar is to the left. The small domes housed the missile tracking and target tracking radars.Note a small cabin at the left of the photo; remnants of this still exist.
Set up for VHF and HF.
2m FM: KX6A NG6R KI6IED KM6CEM KI6PMD W6OXA K6MBX N6IET WW7D S2S
20m CW: KV6Z NS7P KX0R K6TUY K5WI KE5AKL N9KW K9ZMD KT5X K4MF KA5PVB N4EX KG3W K6ACJ NE4TN K0HNC NK6A ND0C KB5JO WB0KIU K7FO
30m CW: W7RV K6HPX/P S2S N7LP W6JMP K6EL KC6SSE NU7Y
As I was making my last QSO with WW7D on Stonewall Peak, a hiker appeared. Her name was Kathy and she had jogged and walked the nine miles in three hours. It had taken me two and a half on the bike. I asked her to take my photo.
The only remnants of the IFC area I could see were the two water tanks, a cinder block shed, and a stone cabin. On the left of this photo is a bush; this is where one of the missile or target tracking radars had been located. I could not see even a concrete footing for the radars; the Army had apparently decommissioned the site rather thoroughly.
Then started down. Do not forget to STOP here! I think this must have been the entrance to the IFC area. I noticed that many of the dead trees had been cut down since my last visit.
Looking towards Camp 16 and Little Gleason
As usual a pretty nice ride down, though there are some uphills on the way back. I stopped for lunch along the way, and enjoyed the view for a while.