Friday, February 27, 2009

Pictures from a Bike Ride

In which we go for a pedal through the woods and over the bay

A hummingbird explores the outside of an old bunker at Battery McKinnon-Stotsenberg

Took a chance in between rain storms the other day and went on a bike-and-hike to the Marin Headlands. I pedaled up the hill along Arguello past Senator Diane Feinstein's old place and stopped in at the Presidio Golf Course Grill for a spot of lunch. (The food is superb there.) Afterward I rode up through the woods and over the hill along Washington Blvd. past some military housing that has been converted civilian apartments.

A historical photo of Battery McKinnon-Stotsenberg, courtesy the Nat'l Park Service

I looked right and noticed for the first time a row of old concrete bunkers behind a block of apartments. I rounded the corner for a closer look. This, I found out later, is Battery McKinnon-Stotsenberg, which around the turn of the century was home to the battery of enormous 12-inch mortars pictured above.

Outside the gate I noticed a sign reading "Presidio Wine Bunker." I wondered if this was a historical site -- was this where the Presidio's commanders stored wine for the Officer's Club? The gate was open so I ventured in for a look around.

You've heard of swords to ploughshares? Here we have gun barrels to wine barrels

I found a little portable kiosk inside the gate knocked on the door. A man answered and I asked about the wine bunker. He said that it is a private business started after the U.S. Army had quit the base. Wineries and individuals pay to use the bunkers as a cave. Seems like nice work, if you can get it.

A steel ring rusts away on the bunker wall

A container ship passes into the Gate past the Point Bonita lighthouse

I pedaled on over the Golden Gate and through the tunnel and down Bunker Road into the headlands. I alighted at the Marine Mammal Center and hiked up the Coast Trail on foot.

I hiked up the trail to Battery Townsley, built in 1938 in preparation for the then still-gathering storm.

The Headland cliffs looking West-by-North-West

Pebble Henge

Wandering the hills I found someone's idea of Stonehenge. The arrow points due North while the rock opposite seems to indicate South. I decided to call it "Pebble Henge."

Does dining down by the site of the new Marine Mammal Center


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