Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 17 - 18: Myrtle Beach, Wilmington, and Fort Macon

From Charleston we continued north to Myrtle Beach...

We just passed thru but Myrtle Beach looked pretty neat.  The town is definitely a tourist trap but Spring Break had just ended and Summer is still a ways off so the town was actually pretty quiet and sleepy or maybe hungover.  There're still a lot of colorful, older 50's and 60's looking hotels, motels, and restaurants that haven't been leveled yet for high-rises, so we liked that.  We might go back some other time.

We camped for the night at a great campground, Brunswick Beaches Campground, near Shallotte, NC.  Great bathrooms, pool, people, etc.  We also met a nice couple (hey Ken and Diane!) taking their first RV trip (with Bob, their 190lb Great Dane!) that usually travels on their motor yacht.    Everyone we talk to who's traveled by boat seems to love it.
We're kind of getting the boat bug...

Omelette for dinner.
We're really loving our new little fridge.  It's much more reliable than the original one so we're able to keep things like eggs and dairy!

We spent about half the following day in Wilmington, NC.  Another beautiful southern city with a neat waterfront and lots of history...

...and more beautiful old mansions!
This is the Bellamy Mansion.

Just across the Cape Fear River is the WWII Battleship, The North Carolina which saw action in the Pacific.

Continuing up the coast, we visited Fort Macon that afternoon.

This was a Union fort captured by the Confederates during the Civil War and the site of one battle.  The fort's design includes this moat...

...designed to trap invaders between the inner and outer walls.

The fort has quite a history.  Originally constructed to defend Port Beaufort from the Spanish, British, and even pirates.  Partially engineered by Robert E. Lee before the Civil War, it's been a Union fort, a Confederate fort, a prison, and there were even troops stationed here during WWII because German U-boats were off the coast!.  Afterwards, the fort was abandoned and fell into disrepair for many years until it became a state  park.

This model provides a better view of its construction.  Each of the little semi-circles held a cannon.  Kinda looks like a baseball diamond.

This young 23-year old Colonel commanded the fort during its only battle of the Civil War.  The Union bombarded the fort with a new weapon...

...the "rifled" cannon that was much more accurate than anything seen previously.  Union forces were able to target the fort's powder magazine and young Colonel White quickly recognized that they'd be blown to smithereens and wisely surrendered rather than sacrifice his men.

Many of the fort's interior rooms have been set up as small museums dedicated to the many roles the fort has played.

The brickwork is quite beautiful.

The soldiers ate pretty well, although this was what they ate for an entire day.

There're some reproduction guns that you can rotate.

This staircase is dimpled by a Union cannonball that bounced down the stairs!

That evening we camped at a combination campground/marina on Cedar Island, close to where we planned to catch a ferry to the barrier islands the next day.

What a view!

Oh, look at the quaint fishing boats...

Grey morning after a fitful night of drizzling rain, mosquitoes, and remember those fishing boats?  Well, they weren't for looks.  They fired up the diesels at dusk and dragged nets until dawn just off the coast.  We managed to get a little sleep but we might as well have camped by a highway!

No comments:

Post a Comment