Saturday I hiked up East Canyon, one of the local open spaces. It was about 5 miles round trip with aEast Canyon gain of about 1200 feet. It was a hazy grey day and I didn’t bring a good camera so all photos are from my cell phone and fairly poor.

Another half mile or so and I would have reached Oat Mountain but I ran out of steam. It has been months since I’ve done anything really strenuous and I am horribly out of shape. From Oat Mountain one can view the San Fernando Valley, home to a million and a half people, stretched out before them. It is high enough one can see right over the Santa Monica Mtns. and into the LA basin, home to a few million more. That’s why there are antennas up there.

This all used to be ranch land. Saugus to the Sea Road was a truck trail that wound up these mountains and over into the San Fernando Valley. Now most of it is Michael Antonovich Open Space with the road long decayed to a dirt track. However, once you reach the crest there is still some private ranch land plus off limits communications stations.

There is an abandoned Nike missile site up there, one of several that ringed northern Los Angles. Another was located down in the Valley next to the Sepulveda flood basin where my old Guard unit is located at. Additionally, there were radar units to guide those missiles on their way to intercept any surviving incoming Soviet bombers or cruise missiles. One is located on Mulholland Highway and is now a Cold War historical display in a park.

Almost nobody realized that there were nuclear missiles silos right in the middle of a major population area right up until 1974. At that time the Soviet bomber threat was considered unimportant compared to ballistic missiles so the bases were decommissioned. They were turned over to the city, the county, reverted to National Forest or converted to National Guard bases. We used the old silos for storage.