Of Deer, Lighthouses, and the Cold War: An Outdoor Afro Adventure in a Local National Park

Written By OutdoorAfro

Published on Sep 16, 2013

Written by Northern California Outdoor Afro Leader Teresa Baker
Last weekend, Outdoor Afros gathered to walk the Bonitas Lighthouse trail, and were greeted by a family of deer. While they grazed on their morning meal, we stopped and photographed this bit of stunning wildlife.

But if you also want to learn about what it takes to keep a lighthouse functioning, this is an awesome place to visit, where you can see all the moving parts.


The tunnel leading down to the lighthouse was dug by hand and what remain are the crumbling walls of the mountain surrounding the trail, which are steadily eroding into the ocean below.

Although the lighthouse itself is maintained by the coast guard, the National Park Service provides access to the public. After our time at the lighthouse, we ventured over to the only restored NIKE Missile site in the entire country.
The NIKE Missile site is the exact model of what stood in its place, during the cold war. You would never know driving by that just tucked away, in a missile bunker, sits missiles that could have destroyed everything in its wake, at the push of a button.
This missile site stood as the last line of defense against Soviet Bombers. As Ranger Al pointed out to us, just one of the six missiles on standby could destroy everything for hundreds of miles from where we stood.
Such a humbling experience to stand next to what was once considered the ultimate in military force, next to such breathtaking wild. And we found it right in our own backyard.


Click to learn more about this site, and retrace our steps!