Wednesday, November 19, 2014

11/19 Fort Pickens Visit

OK, I have been hunkered down for the past two days because of the cold and windy conditions.  Temps during the day have been barely 45 degrees, dropping down to 28-30 at night.  Plus, there has been a 20 MPH wind coming out of the north, which makes it feel even colder.  So, I've been keeping both furnaces working and aiming my little electric heater on my feet.  Luckily, it is plenty warm at night because I can turn up the furnace in my bedroom, and I have a down coverlet which really keeps it cozy.

So today, the forecast was for 54 degrees and the sun was out, so after watching my favorite British Antiques Roadshow until noon, I drove out to the fort to do some sightseeing.  Also checked out the other, larger campground.  I think I like this one better because sites are more private and closer to the beach. 

So here is the real Fort Pickens, just a couple of miles from my campground:

This chunk of the Gulf Islands National Seashore is a long, thin 35 mile long barrier island called Santa Rosa.  The west end of the island, where the campgrounds are is the entrance to Pensacola Bay.  Even in the early 1800s, they recognized that this area needed to be protected from the Spanish, the French, the British, and whoever else might come calling, hence this fort.

This shows what the fort looked like when it was first constructed. Because of its important, it was a very large fort.

 And it was built by slaves who had building skills.  Their owner collected their wages and made a tidy additional profit by supplying all the materials for construction.

A few of the bay and Pensacola harbor from the top of the fort.

Could not resist taking this photo.  Ship looks like it is held together by the rust. 

Pretty place for a fort, in any case.

Found this Industrious little creature snuffling along looking for bugs.  Still too cold for many insects, so I hope it managed to get a meal.  Have no idea if it was a boy or girl.

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