We have been busy on our third week here at Gulf Shores.
Walking has become a big part of this adventure we are on. Some days we are walking five plus miles and other days maybe two.
This was not the case when John and I visited Fort Morgan. After we toured the fort we set off on the beach. We passed several fisherman and soon there was no one but us. We walked and walked and I remember John saying something about the Sahara Desert! I told him to trust me, if we stayed on the beach we would come to a beach road that would take us back to the entrance of the fort. We did finally reach that road, we walked almost seven miles on that little excursion.
This is the lighthouse on Sand Island. The only thing remaining after all the storms is the lighthouse.
Now, about Fort Morgan, Alabama. I will not go into as much depth as I did with Fort Pickens, but if you have questions I might be able to answer them.
Construction on Fort Morgan began in 1819 on the site of the former Fort Bowyer which was less than a decade old. It took fifteen years to complete. Over two hundred enslaved persons labored to make the thirty million brick and mortar fort. The total cost of the fort was $1,026,778 in the year 1834.
I was really taken back when I learned how the US government and slave owners in the region arranged slave lease contracts for the labor of the forts built along the gulf coast. Thank goodness the Union won the Civil War and President Lincolns desire to free all slaves came about.
Fort Morgans military history starts at the War of 1812 and ends in World War II. In 1947 the War Department deeded Fort Morgan to the State of Alabama for use as a historical park.
The fort is in the shape of a star. There is a glacis to the first wall and a dry moat between that and the actual fort.
Tunnel through the outside wall and the glacis.
Once inside the fort there are ten flank casemates which contained two 24-pounder howitzers.
Casemates were located in the fort underneath.
Cisterns for fresh water
The Panama Mount, a gun mount made for rotation of a 155mm gun
The disappearing gun. Used 268 pounds of explosives to fire a 1046 pound shell up to 8 1/2 miles
The fort has seven batteries through its massiveness. Here are pictures of some of those.
Battery Duportail was built inside the fort. Note the rails to move the heavy equipment.
Other pictures from our visit to the fort.
Two quick stories. One prisoner of war is said to have hung himself in one of the cells, he still hangs around! Ha! Get it?
The other is of a young woman found dead on the beach outside the fort. Her apparition has been seen late at night. People say you can hear her screams from her attackers pursuit. She is buried somewhere on the fort grounds.
Historian and custodian of Fort Morgan for 23 years, Hatchett Chandler is buried outside the fort walls.
Fort Morgan has an awesome museum on the forts history. Pictures and artifacts tell the story of the fort.
Switching gears a little, let’s talk about the donuts made for all meals!
Tracy chasing the birds on the beach and working off that donut!
The beautiful colors in the sky at the end of the day.
A nice relaxing morning on the beach chalking up another six miles! To the pier and back.
Sunsets of the Lagoon.
If you zoom in, you can see the web of sea oats.
Good Morning! Taking a ferry from Fort Morgan to Dauphin Island. Five bucks to ride there and back. It was way more expensive for people with cars. But, you know we like to walk and we are in walking distance to the places we want to visit. (Plus, we are just cheap!)
Like a kid on Christmas morning! Interesting facts: John firsts, never had fritos until I offered him some. Never has had spiced rum until I made him a drink. Never ate swamp soup and never had a s’more.
Natural gas rigs in Mobile Bay.
Dauphin Island from the ferry.
Fort Gaines from the ferry.
This day we visited the Dauphin Island Estuarium and I will have a first!
Never pass up a photo op!
The Estuarium opened in 1998 to educate people about the fragile eco system of the habitats of coastal Alabama.
100 local species and plants can be observed throughout this 12,000 square foot facility which is open year round.
Shrimp and snails
Clown fish – Nemo
Coral and Butterfly fish
Not sure what this guy is but he sure liked his picture taken.
Deep sea diver!
We really thought the sting ray touch pool was very cool. We waited until feeding time. These guys were really friendly.
This guy wanted his head rubbed. He was so soft and slippery. This was the first time I have been this close to touch one.
After we were finished at the Estuarium we walked to Fort Gaines which sits on the tip of Dauphin Island across the bay from Fort Morgan.
Completed at the onset of the Civil War the forts biggest battle was the Battle of Mobile Bay. Admiral Farragut’s fleet closed in on the bay between the two forts and as the torpedo (mines) placed in the bay ripped through the U.S.S. Tecumseh, it sank killing 94 of the crew. Admiral Farragut and his fleet faltered and his ship steamed ahead to safe harbor and out of range.
You may remember these infamous words of Admiral Farragut; “Damn the torpedos. Full speed ahead”.
Ok enough about that. Here are some pictures from Fort Gaines.
We did not tour the inside of the fort as we didn’t want to miss the ferry back so we walked the grounds outside.
Waiting for the ferry I took a few pictures to remember Dauphin Island by. It was a chilly ride back to Fort Morgan but we did see a few dolphins!
Heading east of Gulf Shores is Orange Beach. We visited the Indian and Sea Museum. Home of an old school house it boasts several interesting artifacts.
A 1930s rocking horse.
An old military foot locker.
The first to inhabit here were the Creeks, Alibamas and Seminole tribes.
1940s baseball glove.
Fish, fish and fish!
Old Big Game fishing reel.
Remember Grandmas can of Crisco?
Does anyone know what the 10, 2 and 4 on the Dr Pepper bottle stands for?????
It’s always interesting to learn about where we all came from and the people who were here before us.
Most of the items in the museum have been donated to the museum by local residents proud of their gulf coast heritage.
OK!!!! Time for some lunch and fun!
We are here Flora-Bama! Can you read it the story in the wall of license plates?
Any need a bra?
Look at all the booze!
Tracy had oysters on the half shell, eewwww but to each their own and she really likes them as many others do.
We played free BINGO and the guy calling numbers was a hoot. I guess he was a bit cajun or creole. Tracy was his guest judge.
WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!!Our winner was John! He wasn’t sure what to think of this place at first but he had fun, especially after that bushwhacker!
Outside there was a really big chair! You know I did!
It’s Friday and we decided that it would be a good day to walk around Tanger outlets after we ate lunch at Lamberts!
I love this place because I love hot dinner rolls! I caught two, one with lunch and one for later!
I think our bellies are full and we all took a to go box home.
We walked around the outlet mall. The weather was 73 and sunny. It was a really nice day. Now the clouds are heading in and the rain with it. Gotta take the good with the not so good sometimes but I will take this everyday!