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Sandy Dunes - Or...Slip Slidin' Away!

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...


  Then..........................................................................Now

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

38 comments :

  1. Very interesting history, Anni. Glad you got a taste of winter along with the rest of us! :-)

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  2. I doubt I could climb that trail, but it is gorgeous and glad you did, wonderful pics of it. I like the signs to.. I had to laugh at the part about climbing in the cold. it is 40 degrees here and I will not go out side until it warms up. we are going to 66... I am a cold weather whimp

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    1. It was a tough climb!! Yep, me too...a wuss when it comes to extreme cold. But for the fact, no snow, I was okay with it. AND no snakes out.

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  3. That was quite a hike but your efforts were well rewardwd.

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    1. Oh the view was spectacular.

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  4. Your presentation so much better than a history book in school. Very interesting.

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  5. Wow, interesting post, such lovely views, just the kind of hike I'd enjoy learning and sight seeing along the way. We are rich in history!

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    1. If we take the time to find and learn, it's always a good thing. Thanks Karen.

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  6. Well worth the struggle and how wise to go in the cold weather, avoiding the snakes.

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    1. I will do anything to avoid snakes!

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  7. Oh my goodness! You are a brave woman, and let nothing stop you from living life to the fullest! I imagine coming down would be more danger of falling. Guess you never saw any snakes. The view is wonderful, and great ruins. The things we do for our blog...I am glad you are back safe on firm ground.

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    1. Ginny, there is a fine line between brave and stupid. After I got back to the car, I thought "stupid". lol

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  8. Those hard hikes are always the most satisfying!

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    1. You're probably right on that.

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  9. Thank you so much for your sweet comments you left on my blog...so appreciated....This was some hike. You are a brave soul but I know you felt so satisfied after such an accomplishment...You certainly were able to get some wonderful shots of the area....

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    1. Nancy it was a true pleasure to view your post!

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  10. You make me laugh! I think you are pretty amazing. You find the best places to visit. I would love this one.

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    1. It was interesting...but I still think I was a bit crazy for venturing up that hill...especially about mid-way up and I couldn't make much headway. lol

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  11. This is very very cool. Very smart to go when the snakes are not bothering anybody. I got to thinking that there has to be a geocache close by and sure enough there is one in the general area and of course it has warnings about venomous snakes out and about. Good for you for venturing and checking it out.

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    1. There is a geocache nearby? Hmmmmm

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  12. That looks fairly rugged.

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    1. Not too rugged, just too sandy to make much headway. A short hike, but a long time getting to the top.

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  13. Hello Anni, kudos on your amazing hike. The views are wonderful. I am glad there were no snakes, seeing one would freak me out. Enjoy your day, happy Tuesday

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    1. Oh yes.....snakes freak me out too!!!!

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  14. You are so healthy and strong now! Half the year in flatland Florida has probably permanently diminished my lung capacity ... in Colorado or Oregon I really feel the strain on hills. Very interesting history here. Good point about not having to worry about snakes as much in cold weather.

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    1. altitude really makes a whole lotta difference with the lung function to be sure. Yep, snakes like 'holes' when it is cold outside.

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  15. Such interesting history. I rarely think of the US and WWI and WWII history. I need to explore that more. I am glad I found your page from Tuesday Around the World.

    Lisa @ Life Thru the Lens www.lisakerner-slp.com

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    1. Hi Lisa...thanks for visiting....I don't have any discus account so I find it impossible to join in the commenting! Sorry.

      Thanks for visiting.

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  16. Wow Anni... I admire you for making the climb... but it looks like it was worth it and interesting... thank you for linking in... Michelle

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  17. A stark but beautiful place. Thanks for sharing this bit of history, Anni!

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  18. Interesting post as I would never have guessed the dunes would have snakes in Texas. I grew up near the coast in Northern California and it's too cold for snakes all year round. You make me want to explore the southern part of our state and thinking we should do it while it's cold!

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    1. Oh they're loving the dunes around here.

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  19. I'm afraid the snakes would have kept me from making the climb even if I thought they were snuggled in underground. I'm glad you made the climb though. Interesting post and perfect pictures. I may be spending some time helping a friend clear some pasture of briars in a couple of weeks. Worrying about snakes and haven't even started yet. I'm wearing my heaviest and tallest boots!

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    1. Yep...and I hope your boots are THICK LEATHER!!

      You can't hide from me....I found you. :0)

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