Back in September, I posted a short section in my blog about some ruins on a hill near the Port Aransas Texas beach/South Jetty. I then did some research online and found out it was at one time, during World War II, a gun emplacement. It was short lived, built to protect the Corpus Christi coast from any enemy invasions [mainly submarines or U-boats; a few sighted in the Gulf nearby] after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941. I say short-lived since the emplacement of large artillery guns and the end of World War II near, the protection lasted two years...1942-1944.
Sunday morning, after a week of below freezing temperatures and a possible threat of snow [one day 26 degrees and windchill 19 degrees!], the morning was windy and a frigid 40 degrees... I thought it'd be an ideal time to climb the dunes. Cold air, clear skies...no rattlesnakes out!! The sandy dunes are notorious for venomous snakes. I wanted to make sure they were still underground for warmth before I did any climbing! Climbing was a challenge...the trail is almost straight up in spots, and consisting entirely of loose, soft sand, keeping foot traction almost nil. With each step I took, I slid back a half step in the sand! And I had my hiking boots...no help here. Not wanting to utilize my hands for balance and snake bites, I tried to remain upright and moving forward little by little. Finally making it to the top, I was captivated by the view, looking out to sea. Stepping up on the emplacement foundation, I turned a full 360 degrees and tried to envision the Army's and Navy's involvement at the time. The morning wind was brisk, the views clear and I could almost smell the iron and the odor of the howitzer residue when fired.
Along with the Texas State Historical Society, volunteers and historians of the area, it was dubbed a valuable historic landmark. The town of Port Aransas paved a pull-off parking area adjacent to the ruins, along with an historical marker being moved from the channel to its proper place, the public is welcomed to learn and see the background of this site in Texas history.
And, of course I took pictures...
Before climbing I took these two photos off the diorama boards by the parking area, making them black and white for a 'time frame' from the 40s era...
The climb up the dunes...
...arriving at the ruins
...the view as I stood on the emplacement
Walking back down the hills was another slip and slide experience. The sand was laughing all the while, thinking this ol' lady shouldn't even be UP here in the first place! Back in the car, I then headed to my birding refuges...on FLAT GROUND again!!
Read more HERE and HERE