Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Thoughts on Camping: The Battery

Jonah, Thomas, and Isaac climb into a Military Communications Vehicle.

Day One camping at Fort Stevens we visited the old abandoned battery. Attack on the mouth of the Columbia River is apparently not the threat it once was. Because at one time there had been a threat. At one time. One.

During WWII, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, a Japanese submarine fired like 17 shells at or around the Fort Stevens battery. There were no direct hits and the command came down to not return fire. So the cannons and disappearing guns stayed quiet and the Japanese sub continued on to the Aleutians.

This photographer got more cooperation when she asked for an angry face than a smile.

It was a little creepy walking through the dark cement halls of the battery, and not just because like a million swallows darted out whenever we rounded a new corner. I couldn't help but think of the men and women who might have walked those low-ceilinged hallways or run up the long, uneven stair steps to do drills.

Looking into one of the several pits that held cannon or gun mounts.

There were deep holes where cannons and guns had once been mounted and empty rooms called, "The Magazine Room" and "The Shell Room." It was hard to picture the Fort as the bustling military base it had once been. All that was left of the barracks were cement foundations in wide open fields of grass.

Jonah found this tool hanging board in one of the shell rooms.

We ended our visit to the battery with a visit to the Fort Stevens museum. For a moment, the boys seemed to be interested in the beautiful display of military swords, uniforms and the scale model of the fort in its heyday. But then they saw the candy section in the gift shop.

No comments: