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Photo by H.S. Cooper ©

Photo by H.S. Cooper © Picnic Stop

Taking a break from busy I-10 to grab some lunch… as you can see from the reflection in our rig, we weren’t the only Campers chowing down. 🙂

 

Photo by H.S. Cooper ©

Photo by H.S. Cooper © Rain Delay

We were planning on putting some major mileage in today, but Mother Nature had other plans. Flooding and severe storms in the region have us staying inside and watching the Travel Channel instead. The summer adventure will just have to wait a day… or two. 🙂

 

Photo by H.S. Cooper © Fort Barrancas drawbridge

Photo by H.S. Cooper © Fort Barrancas drawbridge

If you find yourself near Pensacola (FL) make sure you plan a day for Fort Barrancas. The fort is actually part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, however, it is located on the Pensacola Naval Air Station. Admission to the fort is free, although citizens need to show proper photo ID at the entrance gate.

Fort Barrancas has a fascinating history. A shot fired by a guard at the fort on January 8, 1861 is sometimes considered the very first shot of the American Civil War! The fort and other structures there were built by different groups over time. There is a great deal of history to step into… or see-through… did I mention the Confederate ghost? 😉

The area also consists of the Spanish Water Battery (Bateria de San Antonio) which has an underground passage from the fort. The tunnel section from the fort to the water battery is very dark and steep, so make sure you are wearing sturdy shoes. The fort itself is very dark in sections and you may want to carry a flashlight with you while exploring. The Spanish Water Battery has several steps going up (although you don’t need to climb them to appreciate the view).

There are also trails and a picnic area near the visitor center. And an additional treat is the view at the Overlook of Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island across Pensacola Bay!

A short distance down the road is the Advanced Redoubt. The Redoubt is unique for the time period because it was designed solely for resisting a land-based assault.

Parking at the fort is limited; however, there is a small area dedicated for RV/bus parking. The fort and visitor center is only open on Saturdays. The Advanced Redoubt has more parking and is open daily. Tours of Fort Barrancas and the Advanced Redoubt are scheduled on Saturdays.

For more information visit: http://www.nps.gov/guis/planyourvisit/fort-barrancas.htm and https://hscooper.wordpress.com/photos/florida/national-museum-of-naval-aviation/

 

As Full-Time RVers, we are always concerned about severe weather. Although RVs can withstand moderate winds, they are not intended to be used for shelter in any type of severe storm.

And early this morning we had a wake-up call from our NOAA weather radio indicating we were in a Tornado Watch. We were sound asleep and had no clue what the weather was doing outside. Thankfully the radio’s high shrill alerted us to severe weather conditions.

All Campers should invest in a NOAA weather radio or weather alert radio. A nice handheld radio with wall adapter and back-up batteries can be purchased for around $20 and in case a storm Watch or Warning is issued, you will have the latest information. Don’t solely rely on a phone app for weather alerts.

If you are staying in an area prone to severe weather or possible flooding then you should find out where it is best to seek shelter or what evacuation route is closest. Make sure you know where to go and have a little family meeting. Even if you are just on a week vacation, discussing a plan with your family for just five minutes could end up saving your lives.

Ask the campground staff if they notify their campers about severe weather alerts and what they advise campers to do in stormy situations. Some campgrounds may recommend their restroom or recreation buildings for shelter. Many have concrete buildings that would be a solid structure to go to if there isn’t time, such as in the case of a tornado. But if you have time and know that severe weather will affect your area, make sure you seek an official shelter.

If you are in an area that observes Daylight Savings Time, don’t forget to set your clocks ahead one hour tonight before you go to sleep. Let’s just hope Mother Nature springs forward too! 🙂

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