Saturday, August 10, 2019

Where Do You Think David, Theo & Ruby Took Us On Their Latest Adventure?

Three incoming emails this morning, coming in from David, Theo and Ruby.

Each of the three emails had photos attached, with no explanatory text.

But, the third email did ask the following question...

"At which pic did you figure out today’s adventure?"


This first pic is the one you see here of the trio about to board a Washington State Ferry.

There is a ferry dock in Tacoma from whence one floats to Vashon Island. I figured that is not the ferry we are seeing here, due to the second photo not showing a scene one sees from the ferry to Vashon, on either the Tacoma or the island side.

With the second photo I thought the scene looked familiar. Port Townsend? Did the trio have their parental units drive up Hood Canal and the Olympic Peninsula to board the Port Townsend ferry to Whidbey Island.

And then it was the next photo which had me fairly sure I knew where the trio's most recent adventure took them.

I don't know why, for sure, but when I saw the above driftwood fort photo I thought to myself, it was Port Townsend in the second photo, and this is the beach at Fort Casey.

The photos in the second email confirmed I did correctly figure out where the trio was adventuring.

That is Ruby jumping high on the open plain above the Fort Casey fort.

The photo above pleased me. Theo is deep inside the Fort Casey fort. I can see some major restoration has taken place, on the floor and via paint. During all the years I had fun at Fort Casey the fort, for the most part, was left in natural ruins mode, with some improvements, but mostly left in its ruins of a fort state.

Another example of the newly polished up Fort Casey, with one of the guns and its surrounding enforcement looking all freshly restored.

There are multiple of these lookout type towers at Fort Casey. The funnest games of hide and seek I ever played were played at Fort Casey. Or was it just playing tag and chasing my siblings? I don't precisely remember, other than the fact that Fort Casey was always super fun. There are hidden scary areas, with pitch black passageways. A dropped and broken flashlight could produce trauma. Or if a brother turned off a flashlight at key times to scare his little brother

The steps you see the trio on here are one of many which took one in and out of the depths of Fort Casey.

It takes a long time to explore all of Fort Casey. There are two big gun emplacements dug into the cliff which overlooks Admiralty Inlet. These are outside the main fort. One of those is not what Theo, David and Ruby are sitting on above.

Fort Casey is an early example of America building a defense system which soon became obsolete. Way back in the 1890s the narrow entry into Puget Sound, Admiralty Inlet was considered strategic to the defense of Puget Sound. So, three forts were built. Fort Casey on Whidbey Island, Fort Worden at Port Townsend. And Fort Flagler on Marrowstone Island.

These fortresses were intended stop any incoming invasion. Construction began in 1897, completed in 1901, and then considered no longer an adequate defense soon thereafter, what with the advent of enemy battleships with improved weapons.

Fort Casey is now a state park, of the historical sort, full name Fort Casey Historical State Park. Fort Casey is located within an even larger park reserve, known as United States Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve.

Fort Ebey is north of Fort Casey, close to Oak Harbor and the current Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. Fort Ebey was built in 1942 as a World War II Puget Sound coastal defense. Fort Ebey's remains are not nearly as elaborate as Fort Casey, but the gun bunkers can still be seen and explored. And the cliffs of Fort Ebey are way higher than the cliffs of Fort Casey.

Fort Ebey State Park was a frequent go to place for me when I lived in the neighborhood. Great hiking, with adventurous trails. And being in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains, little rain, and somehow this results in something extremely odd to see growing in Western Washington.


I also recollect picking wild strawberries at Fort Ebey.

If I remember right the last time I was at Fort Casey was back in the 1990s. And on that visit exploring Fort Casey was not on the agenda.

On that day David, Theo and Ruby's cousin Joey and I parked at Fort Casey to ride our bikes on the ferry to Port Townsend.

Whilst at Port Townsend, Joey, who in addition to being the trio's cousin, is one of my many favorite nephews, and also the proud papa of Hank Frank, and I pedaled to Fort Worden.

If you have viewed the movie named An Officer and a Gentleman you have seen Fort Worden. After Fort Worden Joey and I explored around Port Townsend. At some point we heard the ferry whistle and made it back, barely, for the last sailing of the day.

That turned into one wild ferry ride. With Admiralty Inlet being somewhat narrow, as in less than four miles wide at its narrowest, this makes for some strong tidal action when Puget Sound is in extreme tidal change mode. When this happens the result is a rock and roll ferry boat ride where it is virtually impossible to walk the deck.

By the time we got back to Fort Casey the park was closed and there was a note from the ranger telling us he figured we were on the last ferry, to knock on his door and he'd open the locked gate for us. And so we knocked and the ranger kindly let us exit.

Last month whilst I was visiting Spencer Jack and Hank Frank's Grandpa Jake, in Arizona, we were lamenting all we missed, which we so often enjoyed, whilst living in the Skagit Valley of Washington. So close to so much good stuff that neither of us are anywhere near at the current point in time.

Some of the funnest times I have ever had were taking my four oldest nephews to various locations in Washington when they were kids.

It sure would be fun to take my two youngest nephews and my first favorite niece on some Pacific Northwest Adventures. Hiking Mount Baker and Tabletop Mountain comes to mind. As do the Ice Caves. And Washington Park in Anacortes (favorite nephews Chris and Joey used to call this Bunny Park) and then there is, well, I could go on, but I'm getting homesick...

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