Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fort DeSoto Park

Sometimes we visit a place that is nearby, and I find myself thinking I can't believe we have never been here before.  This park was one of those places.  We knew it was in the area, and we even tried to find it one day when we were with our travel buddies but we never actually made it to the park.

I am glad we finally did because it was one of the more awesome state parks we have visited in Florida.  The park sits on an island, which is always a cool bonus.  That means there is a beach, pier and park facilities like kayaking and biking.  There is also the fort, which you can walk through.
  Fort De Soto has the only four 12-inch seacoast rifled mortars (model 1890 mounted on 1896 carriages) in the continental United States. Also at the fort are two 6-inch Armstrong rapid-fire rifled guns (model 1898) which were originally mounted at Fort Dade, and are the last two guns of that model year in the United States.
 The walls on the fort were incredibly thick, meaning the inside was unusually cool.  I can't imagine how dark and lifeless it would have seemed though, to stay inside for any length of time.
I'll be honest, my favorite part was watching Nathan explore the fort.  He goes into complete guy mode in places like this.
He was trying to find evidence of firing, so I looked it up.  "Ironically, Fort De Soto was never the site of any major battle, and the weapons of Fort De Soto and Fort Dade were never fired in anger at an enemy. However, it played a significant part in the evolution of modern weaponry. In 1977 Fort De Soto was added to the National Register of Historic Places.  Very interesting place to visit!