After walking around the town in Port Townsend, we drove a short distance to check out Fort Worden. This base is now turned over to the community and the base buildings are used for a variety of enterprises. The whole area is a state park so we renewed our annual pass (it hadn’t been needed when we were going nowhere!) and talk a walk up to the old gun emplacements.
One of the things I like about these old installations in the state parks is that they are almost unchanged other than the guns having been removed. There is no fencing and so you can wander around and climb the ladders up on top if you chose (and you can fall off the edge if you aren’t careful!). It looks much like it would have a century ago. The only thing now is that a lot of trees have grown up where once there would have been open views.
We wandered along the rows of concrete works and read about the different batteries and who they were named after. There were large iron rings set in the walls which caught our eye and these were used for mounting block and tackle to allow the guns to be hauled in to place. On a sunny day the whole place felt very relaxing to walk around but I imagine the concrete structures were a lot less pleasant on a damp and cold winter’s morning. Some interesting history to check out.
On the outskirts of Bothell, there is a small park with a red brick road. It is right next to the Burke Gilman Trail so I had ridden past it many times on my bike and frequently thought to myself I should check it out. I either forget to go there or am in a hurry on the bike and so, until recently, I had never visited it. A quiet weekend afternoon meant I had the opportunity and, more importantly, remembered to do so.
The route around the north of Lake Washington had been a dirt trail until the red brick road was built. When it opened, it increased the speed of travel from Bothell to Seattle dramatically and opened up the area. The road is now SR522 and is heavily traveled. It has long ago been re-paved but one small section of the original brick road has been preserved in this park. Along with the brick itself, there are some signs telling about the history of the road and the impact on the region as well as a couple of sculptures. I doubt people will be traveling from far afield to visit but I am glad I finally got around to checking it out.
We headed to Michigan for a family event recently. We had a little time to spare and decided to check the Henry Ford (apparently it doesn’t have museum in the name but that is what it is). The museum complex includes many elements including a village and tours of the F150 factory but we only had time to try out one so we focused on the main museum building. As it turned out, we had way too little time to even do that justice. As is often the way with us, we spent plenty of time in the earliest elements and then were rushing to see the rest when time ran out.
The museum is an eclectic mix of different themes, some of which will get their own posts. It included elements about the industrialization of the country, sections on how homes had developed, examples of furniture styles, many different cars (no shock there given where we were), aviation, rail transportation, math and science and so on. I have no idea how much of it we didn’t even see. With time ticking, we had a frantic last few exhibits! I could easily have taken a full day to check everything out. With the village next door not even looked at, we had plenty left.
These types of museum have a difficult challenge. They curate a bunch of old items and new ones to provide a comparison. Of course, the newest ones are soon dated and there is a need to bring ever more in to provide some modern relevance. They seemed to have done a pretty good job of meeting this need. As we wrapped up and headed on our way, we were left contemplating how we had missed out on making a trip here when we lived in Chicago and this would have been a simple journey to make. I don’t know whether I will ever get back to the area but, if I do, I shall make an effort to go back and give it substantially more time!
Continuing my theme of return visits to take Mum to places, Fort Point was on the itinerary. Always a cool place to visit on a nice day and it benefited from the swell resulting in some great waves crashing up against the fort. Also, we saw some guys taking advantage of the swell to do some surfing alongside the fort. Very cool although they had to know what they were doing since, if you rode all the way in, a rocky wall awaited you! (This also meant that choosing your parking space was a big deal unless you wanted the car to be covered in salt water!)