I was stationed at Beale AFB in the Air Force and worked on the SR
-71's and watched lots of takeoffs. The best spot was from the launch truck that followed the plane to the runway on each takeoff. When the throttles were advanced and afterburners kicked in the truck would rock. Since I was in the sheet metal shop I only got to do it a few times but it was a thrill each time. But it didn't matter where you were on base when the SR
took off you knew it, because it is loud.
I also grew up in Palmdale, California and got to see the first flight of the SR