Organ Pipe National Park

Organ Pipe National Park

About Me

I purchased "Sadie''s House On Wheels "in late 2007 and loved traveling in a motor home so much that I went on the road full time in late 2008. I started writing this blog to help me remember all the wonder places I have been and it allows me to share those places with my family and friends. Summer of 2013 I decided to hang up the keys for a while and moved back into my stick house. After nearly two years, I am on the road again.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fort Knox Historic Site and Penobscot Narrows Observatory, August 12

Fort Knox is Maine's largest historic fort constructed between 1844 and 1869.  Adjacent to the fort is the Penobscot Narrows Observatory which sits atop a cable stay bridge.  The observatory and Fort Knox are really  two parks in one, with only one admission fee.

We arrived early, just as the park opened and were one of the first people to go up into the observatory.  The elevator takes you almost all the way to the top and then there are several short flights of stairs.  The views of the Penobscot Narrows are spectacular.

This is an over view of the new bridge and old bridge. The observatory is on the left.

For the observatory you can see Bucksport and some of Fort Knox sticking out about the middle left of the picture.

Looking the other direction out towards Penobscot Bay.

The bridge is built along side the old bridge and is a cable-stay type.  We saw some of the same styles in Texas.  Cables are bundled together into one large sleeve (the pipe/cannon looking thing) and this is the stay. This is an actual size of a section of the bridge.  It is 57.6 feet wide and the top and 31 feet long at the and there were 181 of them used to construct the bridge.  There were over 20,000 pounds steel and 70 cubic yards of concrete of used in each section.

This is the old bridge.  Plans are to take it down, but according to the docent it probably won't happen anytime soon.

The old and the new bridge with a section of the new bridge.  

Fort Knox is around the corner and up on the hill.  The hill you see on the right is actually part of the Fort.
From the fort you get great views of the Bucksport.
This is one of the batteries of the Fort.
The fort is mostly granite construction.  Parts look like a castle.  You can see the canon ports.
This is an overview of the fort.  You can walk the whole perimeter inside and out.  Note the dry moat or dig all the way around.
This was a section of the officers quarters.  There were wood floors and brick veneer in this section and a fireplace for warmth.  The enlisted men's section was much more sparse with no fireplace.

Series of casemates, the arched section where the cannons were located.  Each casemate was build independently of each other so that if one was damaged it didn't bring down the others.

 View from inside from one of the cannon ports.
 This was one of the corridors facing the dry moat.
 The dry moat or dig that ran the perimeter of the fort as seen from one of the ports.
 The heart of the fort.
 Another view of the casemate.  Note the tracks for the cannons.

 One of the granite stair wells.

 One of the canons set up

The construction of the fort was really interesting.  It was manned during the Civil and Spanish American War but never saw any action.

Next we took the short drive over the Belfast, a little fishing village that is now mostly a colony of artists and craftsmen.  We are on the coast of Maine...lobster territory...and in search of lobster for lunch.  We checked in at the Chamber of Commerce and were directed to Young's a across the bay where you could pick out your lobster and they would cook it.

We headed over there and found the place was more like a fish market, with picnics tables set up in back with a nice view of the bay.  We ordered our lobster which was served with butter for $19.99.  A bit pricey, but what the heck...we were here for the experience.  It was overcooked and the worst lobster I have ever had eaten. It's a good think we only ordered one to share.  Joel had not eaten lobster before and he wasn't impressed. I probably should have complained and asked for another one, but the place was crowded and didn't want to wait any longer. I might order lobster again while in Maine, but not at that price.

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