We decided to go out and play again on Friday afternoon. The Marin Headlands are full of coastal batteries. Most were placed as a result of WWII, but some, like Battery Mendell were built before WWI. Old and dilapidated, they are both an eyesore and a thing of beauty. No longer owned by the military, they are now a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA).
Battery Mendell was built in 1901-1902. It was named after George Henry Mendell of the Army Corps of Engineers.
Like many batteries of the era, it was built with disappearing guns. Battery Mendell was the last disappearing carriage site to be removed from service in 1943.
While full of graffiti, erosion and other sorts of vandalism, it has a few beautiful spots and it’s open to the public. The surface areas are open at any rate. The underground portions are off limits.
From there, we wandered a bit north along the cliff until we came to the base end stations.
While wandering there, we realized that we had a sunset coming up. Don’t groan :-). There are mostly NON sunset photos left. We looked back to the south and realized that there was a part of the battery that we hadn’t explored yet.
Here is where I take time out to produce a map of sorts. The path in red is our entrance to the area. The bit in yellow was our escape route. The escape route was necessary as there was no way in heck we were going to try that cliffside trail after sunset. Unlike the trail near the base end stations, this had NO fence. We were smart and found the escape route before deciding to stay for a bit.
While we were on our way, we saw a bunch of pelicans circling overhead. They were beautiful and distracting.
Once we got to that end of the bluff, the views were stunning. We made sure to find our escape route first though. In case I didn’t mention it, like morans, we didn’t have a flashlight with us. It was a major case of the stupids, but we will be smarter next time.
We found a nice place to sit and I played with the zoom lens. I was NOT going near the cliff edge again. I should mention that we had a lot of rain recently and that tends to weaken the cliffs. I wasn’t in the mood for a nasty surprise.
Yes, NOW we have the sunset pics.