|I am making my way along the gulf(of Mexico) shore and spent a week in Gulf Shores Al. The weather was not very cooperative, however since it was either cool, windy, rainy or some combination of the above almost my entire stay. This is the pier at Gulf State Park
It costs $2 just to walk out on it and I didn't have my purse with me so I just looked and snapped pics from the shore end. Here is the beach - you notice how people are bundled up - it's only in the lows 50s and very windy.
The campground is very nice though, I was right across the road from this beautiful lake
and the moon was full during my stay so I got this shot of the reflection of it on the lake
Because of the weather and the congestion of the area(not many places to park the rig) I actually didn't play tourist much. I did pay a visit to a Civil War era fort called Ft Morgan. The man (from MI) who took my entry fee told me that this sidewalk is over 150 years old.
I thought it still looks pretty good. This fort played a key role in the battle of Mobile Bay and you can see why from the position of this gun, right at the tip of the land.
Confederate forces were vastly outnumbered and the numerical superiority of the Union navy and its weapons soon demolished the old brick fort.Years after the war the Army decided to fortify all such forts in a building program called Endicott and poured concrete at all the gun positions. The buildings that remain date from the beginning of the 20th century, like this tunnel leading inside
Once inside, this is all that remains of the interior walls
Here is a close up of some storage rooms
and looking through the tunnel from inside
.This little cubby is called a powder magazine and was especially fortified to keep the powder safe and dry
I thought these circles might have been the remains of some very impressive weaponry, but found out they were actually where the fort's rainwater was stored in huge cisterns
Ft Morgan was used as a training base during World War I for soldiers dressed like this
It's a good thing this fort was deactivated in 1946 since this big gun is pointed right at my RV
For those of us in Ohio who heat our homes with natural gas, here's a good look at where it comes from
I, for one, never knew that. I headed east to Florida and drove across Pensacola Bay. These rocks were so covered with brown pelicans it was hard to see the rocks. Of course, by the time I could pull over and get out the camera, they weren't as thick.
I love National Parks and normally check my guide book to see if there are any along my planned route. For some reason, I forgot to do so this time but there were ample highway signs directing me to the Gulf Islands National Seashore, so I pulled off to spend a few minutes checking out the displays and stamping my NPS passport. This mural was painted on the wall of the visitor center
The information focused on live oak trees which are native to this particular area.
, like this fellow. Before the US Civil War, almost all ships were made from its timbers because they are flexible and can be made very water tight.
They also had a little beach area where a family was enjoying the day
Interestingly enough, the visitor center/gift shop employee was blind and in a wheelchair. I bought some NPS trading cards (yes, I'm officially a groupie) and he asked me how much they were. Being the cynic that I am, I wondered how much merchandise is stolen or undersold while he is on duty. I arrived at my destination - St Andrew's State Park around 1:30 but my campsite wouldn't be available until 3 so the ranger suggested I "hang out on the beach" Here is my first sight of it
Eddie got to see it, but Florida is a little snootier than Texas because signs were posted prominently saying "No pets allowed"
It's beautiful, but very windy and still somewhat cool. After I gotto my site and set up, I walked around a little to get my bearings. Look how close some of these are to the water.
Today I took another walk up to the store to get some information about the shuttle to Shell Island and took this shot of the marsh
which runs along the road. The shuttle is scheduled to start up again tomorrow after being closed for the season. The girl told me that the shelling should be excellent so I hope to ride out and collect some. I've been told that sand dollars are common there and sea urchins so I really hope to add those to my collection. Their web site also says that over 80 percent of passengers see dolphins so hopefully I'll have some great pics next time.