Ailsa’s travel theme for the week (that would be the week that started last Friday; I’m late with this post!) is WALLS.
This theme fit perfectly with my travels last weekend. Having ending our extended vacation in SW Florida, we headed north up the peninsula, but, instead of traveling onward into Georgia, we took a detour through the Florida panhandle to stop for a brief visit with my son in Pensacola. It seemed, as I mapped it out, that it would be a good way to break up the trip while only adding a few hours to our total travel time. In reality, it meant we had three long days of driving. It was okay, though, because we got to spend time with him.
When I was in Pensacola last September, I had wanted to visit Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island, but, in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac, the park on Santa Rosa Island was closed for several weeks. Now reopened, Fort Pickens was a great place to explore on a warm, Northern Florida winter day.
Fort Pickens, part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, is a historic military fort that dates to 1829, and was strategic during the Civil War in keeping Pensacola Naval Yard out of Confederate control. The Rebel Army, though, controlled Fort McRea and Fort Barrancas, both less than a mile across the water from Fort Pickens. By the end of the Civil War, it was obsolete. Additional batteries to guard and defend from “iron clad” ships were built along the perimeter. Geronimo and several other Indian warriors were imprisoned there in the 1880’s. Later, during WWI, training exercises were held there. Fort Pickens saw final duty during World War II when some soldiers were stationed there to patrol for German U boats possibly trying to attack the Naval Air Station in Pensacola. Obsolete after WWII, the fort is now ruins and became part of the Gulf Island National Seashore in the 1970’s.
There aren’t many parts of the fort left intact, but there are plenty of foundations and walls. Here are some of the photographs that I took.
Another shot of the battery
Civil War era portion of the wall
A Wall — a literal interpretation of this week’s theme
It’s almost time for the next Travel Theme but you can still check out the links for Travel Theme: Walls.