That was the strangest of coincidences, since that meal was destined to be the last meal I would cook on this trek anyway. Tonight would be the last night I would be spending inside the van, after that it would be motels and hotels with Dan, and selling the van and contents. I gave what food I had left to a neighbour at the camp, and that was the end of an era, so to speak.
Today was to be an unplanned chill out day, in other words just a kill time day. Most of the morning was spent on emails, website, backups and burning more photos onto CDs and getting them sent back to the UK.
A Los Angeles Reservoir
A Friendly Warning Sign
San Vicente was an ideal site for NIKE missile radar. On a peak 1,950' above sea level, it provided vision in all directions. Soldiers in the LA96C Battery could look southeast to a youthful downtown Los Angeles with few of the tall buildings seen toady. From here it was 15 miles to the centre of downtown, and 10 miles to the coast. The soldiers were on 15 minute alert in case of attack. If an enemy plane had been located by LA96C (Control) located at the site, computers would have activated missiles at the companion site LA96L (Launch) in Sepulveda Basin, 4.5 miles away. There, one of 30 NIKE missiles would have been launched to intercept and destroy the enemy aircraft before it could drop its bombs on Los Angeles.
In 1962, NIKE officials claimed, "Whatever tomorrow brings ..... NIKE will be watching, always ready". But by the end of the 1960s both the US and the Soviet Union had developed inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles which traveled so fast and high that NIKE missiles were useless for defence.
I headed back down the mountain to the low lands and tried to pick up a route to the coast, with only street names to guide me. I soon got hopelessly lost. It didn't particularly bother me that I seemed to be driving around in circles; I was in no rush. I eventually picked up the freeway again and made my way to Calabasas, where I enjoyed a pleasant meal. It was only a short drive from there to the campsite, which I made well before the 10pm curfew.
It could be argued that it was a pointless day, but the drive out and about served its purpose. Tomorrow would be the challenge of driving through Los Angeles proper, and I looked forward to meeting up with Dan in the evening.