most of the little island (key) we were on in “dry tortugas” was consumed by fort jefferson, built in the early/mid 1800s, the largest brick structure in the americas, and left unfinished because of worries about the ground shifting or settling, as sandy keys are wont to do.
when we first arrived, it was super rainy and cold and windy, making the fort about the only place we wanted to be in (besides the boat). we took an obligatory pic, wandered around a bit, and when the rain subsided, went up top for a windy tour.
but on the morning of day two, before all the day trippers rolled in, we went on a little self guided tour, all by our lonesomes. firstly. it’s pretty cool that there’s an actual moat. so, a pic on the moat bridge is obviously necesseary…
outside, we strolled along the wall around the moat, saw more hermit crabs and then headed in for some education and scenery.
i’m a fan of arches, especially when they are in beautiful row after row.
our favorite spot was on top. i’ll be honest. on the ground and second floor, everything looked the same. bricks and such. but up top, we remembered the beauty of all that surrounded us.
the lighthouse was being repaired, but i imagine it will be cool when it’s finished. the spiral staircases were dark and rustic. anna jogged past all of the cannons, even if they were non functional.
but seriously. the view from the top were pretty great. from the front, we could view the boat docking areas and tiny slice of land allotted to camping and picnicking. to the left side looking out from the front of the fort (which i *think* is east, there are two keys, connected by sand bars, but closed to humans, where tons of birds were nesting (squawking all day and night). and the waters were beautiful turquoise in all directions.
anna and i agreed that our favorite thing was the views from the fort windows. we took a zillion pictures, each viewing seeming better than the last. we were both a little jealous of the staff and rangers who get to work here and live with this view everyday, although we don’t exactly mind our ever-changing backyard.
on the way in, our view of the island was pretty much blocked by the rain and fog and grossness, so it wasn’t until we were pulling away in the ferry that we got this pretty fantastic view of the fort from afar.