October 5, 2009 – Fort Worden

Another beautiful day on the Olympic Peninsula!!

We headed out to Fort Worden.

First a little history:

“Toward the end of the 19th century sail-powered, wooden man-o-wars had given way to steam-powered battleships with iron hulls and powerful cannons. The United States fearing attack by an armada of such vessels, decided to build coastal forts at every major harbor entrance.

Fort Casey, Fort Flagler, and Fort Worden, built between 1889 and 1911, formed the first line of defense to guard Puget Sound cities (Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, and Everett) and the important naval shipyard at Bremerton. At the time they were built, these forts had the most modern weapons and fortifications ever designed. These three forts formed the so-called “death triangle”, for it would be certain death for any invading enemy. No attack was ever made and no shot was ever fired in anger.”

“The forts, however, became outdated as technology advanced. The last big guns of Fort Worden were removed for scrap metal in 1946. Throughout WWII and the Korean Conflict these forts housed and trained thousands of engineering and amphibious troops that were later deployed overseas. Listening devices placed on the bottom of Admiralty Inlet to detect submarines were monitored from the forts.

Although the Army and Navy maintained a presence during the cold war, the forts were sold to the State of Washington in 1957.”

Here is one of the gun batteries:

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What was interesting to us is that when you walk along the beach, you cannot see them at all. This is the beach in front of the Battery. On the hill in front there are 8 more batteries – Amazing!

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Ships coming and going on the Strait of Juan De Fuca and Admiralty Inlet:

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And the lighthouse on the end – the white in the distance is Mount Baker:

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Another view – Mount Baker on the right in the distance:

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How about these signs! When we were walking along the beach and one of the piers, the sirens went off (only a test – LOL) but it did give me a start at first. :-)

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Isn’t he cute:

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There was so much to see and do here – we could spend days. So this is back on our list. (Also in summer since many of the museums were closed – :-((.)

We did stop at the visitor center and saw a nice film on the fort and spent some time talking with the host.

What a neat day!!

Tomorrow we are taking the ferry to Whidbey Island and hopefully check out Fort Casey.

We have decided that we could spend many months just exploring the Peninsula but it will need to be in the summer so this area is back on our list – :-))). We did check on the wait list for a lot at the park – 5-6 years – Yikees!! Maybe workcamping up here would be an option – :-)).

We did get a call today from Pennie and Dave who are on the other end of the Peninsula (we met them in Alaska and crossed paths a few times). So hopefully on our way to the Southwest we will meet up – if not, definitely in Quartzsite. To Pennie, Abessingya!!!

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