3/17/18 – We came home yesterday, ending 6 weeks of travel in the new Aliner and Highlander. Decided to stay an extra day at Cedar Point in Croatan National Forest primarily because the day before had been so windy we weren’t really able to do anything. The sun did finally come out and warmed up a bit so we went down to the point where the White Oak River enters the Intercoastal Waterway. The winds were extreme and the river and intricate waterways choppy whitecaps. We then drove over the bridge (I thought the wind was going to blow us right off!) to Emerald Isle. Briefly went out onto the beach but again it was way too windy to enjoy. Good reminders of how powerful Mother Nature is. I drove down the “Chrystal Coast”, had never done that beyond Emerald Isle. Too late to go to the Aquarium or the fort but made plans to stay another day and do so. It was supposed to be just as windy on Thursday so another reason to stay an extra day is that they warn against putting up or taking down the Aliner in high winds, could catch up under the roof pieces while it’s open and blow them apart!!! This probably isn’t considered high enough winds to do that but not taking any chances.
I’m not usually big on forts, as far as I know had never heard of Macon Fort, but I do like history and wanted to explore. I found it has a very interesting history and the visitors center has excellent educational exhibits and videos.
It was built in the 1820s and 30s, primarily to protect Beaufort, a major shipping port, from pirates, but also along with a number of forts built along the east coast for general defense against warships. It was seized by NC Confederate forces at the beginning of the War Between the States but taken by the Union forces a year later for the rest of the war, used as a prison for a number of years after. It was reactivated in 1898 for the Spanish American War, when a regiment of all black troops was stationed there. Sad irony since it had been built by slave labor not too many years earlier.
The black troops apparently camped outside the fort. I blew this up so you can read more if you want.
It was abandoned after this brief war, became a state park in 1924, restored by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) in ’34-’35, only to be taken again to be used by forces during WWII.
This is pretty boring since it’s all signs to read, pictures of the fort itself were hard to show much, and this history is what I found interesting anyway. Some of the cells, or Casemates, where used for educational displays of each phase of it’s life. In 1946, after WWII, the fort and the park was returned to NC. For more info http://www.friendsoffortmacon.org.
The view of the ocean and beach and islands beyond from the top was beautiful.
That is a ship in the one on the right. That’s what they saw, and shot!! The beaches, the entire end of the island, is State Park, so are preserved in their natural state, tho there are jetties out there to stablelize them. Jetties have been used there since the beginning of building the first fort (there were a couple before that were washed away by the sea).
So the thing that seemed interesting to me is that the fort was used in multiple wars over a century, modernized for each, and abandoned in between. Maybe that’s true of all forts, since I don’t often visit them, I didn’t know, but think I’ll pay more attention when I’m near one from now on.
Even tho I left early in the morning, it took a lot longer than I thought it would, so no time for the aquarium. When we got back to Cedar Point we went back to the Point and did the Tidewater Trail. Another wonderful trail – these trails over boardwalks, over swamps, wetlands, tidewaters, just enthrall me. It was close to high tide and coming in, again it was really rough and windy. I saw no fascinating wildlife, but the movement and changing of the water is so magical and fascinating in itself.
So, that’s the last post for this trip. I’m glad I waited til I got home to do it, a glimpse back for me as I sit here on my porch, enjoying the beautiful view of home and the backward glance of 6 weeks of meandering and exploring and being a nomad. Untethered (thanks Doreen).
It feels strange not to be looking for the next destination, planning explorations, figuring out a route off the beaten Interstate path. It feels kinda strange to be home, the bitter sweet of seeing everybody, watching Xena and Gabby get so excited to see each other/be back home/have us home, seeing the land I’ve loved and tended for 30 years. In my earlier travels I’d reach a point when I’d say “I’m ready to go home”, and thought maybe this nomadic life I’ve lusted after wasn’t really for me. This time, to the very end, I wanted to keep going, where’s the next adventure?, and I felt yeah, I like this, this works for me. Maybe it’s because I had opportunities to see friends along the way. Maybe because I shared my travels and had more communication with friends at home and elsewhere. Maybe it’s because I feel good that “home” is being taken care of, I don’t need get back to mow the lawn. That Gabby and Maggie and Smokey are being loved and cared for. The land and gardens and flowers are being tended by other caring hands (thank you Fae and Erin). Whatever the reasons, I’ll keep doing it as long as it feels good, and as long as I can. Very grateful that I have my health and strength to do it now, but wish I’d started earlier. I’ve heard that so many time on the road. If you have the itch, do it now.
I’ll be home for 3-4 weeks, taking care of business, planning the next round. I hope to see all my local friends and get/give lots of hugs. Then I’ll be off again, first a short jaunt back to the coast, then off into the sunset, to Yellowstone, Badlands, Grand Tetons, Glacier, possibly Canadian Rockies, possibly NW. I’ve never been to the Western National Parks, the west coast, the NW so got a few years of travel left. Who knows where the road will lead. I’ll be caravanning some of the time with some of the Women RVers and Aliners, hopefully learning more about how to navigate this life.
So I’ll be back here on the blog in a few weeks. Hope you’ll join us and keep in touch. If anyone is interested in literally joining us anywhere on the road, get in touch, lets plan.
Til then, keep on rolling wherever your heart leads you,
Lynn and Xena