Monday, April 20, 2009

We Visit Fort Clinch

On our last full day of vacation, we drove a bit north of Little Talbot/Big Talbot to visit the
Fort Clinch State Park. Clinch was once part of a series of federal forts built to protect the southern coasts from threats both real and imagined. This one, unlike Forts Sumter and Pulaski to the north, never saw any actual battles. Not even from Feds and Rebs skirmishing over the rights to see who could piss into the Atlantic.

It's actually a very impressive fort. I've visited a number of these 19th century forts, and this one ranks with the best of them in preservation and in complexity of construction. Just sheer number of bricks that it took to build these places is mind boggling. And when one considers the technology at hand in those day, it's absolutely amazing to stand in and on these forts and realize the effort involved in engineering these walls and buildings.

One curious fact is that this fort was briefly at work again as a military installation during the 1940s when it was used to search for roving German U-boats. Not surprising, considering that the Nazi bastards indeed put some infiltrators ashore not far from
this very spot.

We had a really nice time in this park. In addition to the historical aspects, it's an overall nice place to hang out. The next time we head down in that direction, we're going to book at least a few nights at the campground. It's hard to believe that I once lived not 100 miles north of this park and never once heard of it. Alas. I robbed myself of quite the experience. This park has quite a lot to offer, including fishing, kayaking, boating, hiking, and biking. We'll definitely while away some hours there some day down the line.

This is one of the buildings at the entrance to the fort complex. You have to pay for admission to see the fort beyond this point.

Sign telling you what's ahead on the trail.

Our first sight of the fort as we came out of the trees.

The guns on the Atlantic facing walls.
As we got ready to walk into the fort.

I had to get this shot of the roof of the entrance. The sheer number of bricks is amazing.

The fort complex that greets you as you pass through the gates and walk onto the grounds of the interior.

Typical bunk area for enlisted men.

Actor who portrayed an enlisted man. He was packed with information about the day to day running of this fort. He always stayed in character and was quite amusing.

Carole descending one of the narrow stairwells that one finds throughout the fort.

To give you an idea of the size of the cannon: an old man standing in front of one.

Me, at the brig. (I'll try to post some more shots of the fort tomorrow.)

The view of the fort just inside the gates. The foundations that you see on the ground were for barracks that were never constructed. Fort Clinch was never actually completed. It was decommissioned before the building were even finished.

The view from atop the fort on one of the sea-facing walls.

That ol' flag. It was a-flyin' and a-snappin' that day.

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