Wanderlusting: Fort Knox and The Penobscot Narrows Observatory
“Architecture is to be regarded by us with the most serious thought. We may live without her, and worship without her, but we cannot remember without her.” John Ruskin
Monday dawned dreary, raining in the morning. We took our time getting ready and then went to a diner for breakfast which is maybe ten minutes from where Tiffany lives. Once again they had huge bowls of cappuccino and lattes which I very quickly indulged in. I also may or may not have eaten my fill in buckwheat pancakes which were amazing!
THEN we headed to Fort Knox….
Yes guys there are two Fort Knox, though the one in Maine is no longer in use.
So I have been dying to go here. If you have read my blog the last few years, you know about my obsession with old forts, from George’s Island to Fort William Henry in New York. I am obsessed! I had been wanting to go to Fort Knox for years, but it was to far from my parents home for just a day trip. In all honesty I didn’t even realize it was that close to Tiffany until she mentioned it and then I was fan-girling so hard. I didn’t think it was possible…But pretty sure she saw a new side of me.
Guys it was frickin’ amazing!
And more then made up for the first part.
Penobscot Narrows Observatory
SO everybody told us we had to do the observatory which was fine as I thought it was attached to Fort Knox (At the top of a command post or something similar to that)
Not at all!
In fact it was located atop a gorgeous bridge which we had driven over and literally moments before I had commented on “Oh what a gorgeous bridge” it was.
Yeah, not so gorgeous anymore!
Tiffany had never been there so neither of us knew what to expect. She is afraid of heights, and while I am too, I hate elevators. A LOT! So we made an amazing pair on what was certainly an adventure.
It opened in 2006, replacing another bridge, that did not have a scary ass observation tower. The Observatory is not just the only one in the United States, but also the tallest one in the world standing at 420 feet (and I felt every single one of those flipping feet FYI) It opened to the public in 2007, and like Fort Knox, is only open from May 1 to October 31.
We did go up it. I was so incredibly proud of Tiffany. Despite that small issue of height, we managed to snap pictures. While the views were stunning (I will grudgingly give it that) after about ten minutes we were done and got into the elevator.
Which decided to not FLIPPING WORK!
No joke. Stopped WORKING! We decided to get out while the attendant worked on the issue, because no way was I standing IN it, while he tried to troubleshoot. I am a writer after all, with an extensive imagination and a fear of elevators. (When I went to the top of the Empire State Building, I had some liquid courage) He then said it was fine. I looked at Tiffany and we hesitantly got on, weighing the odds, because guys I didn’t know if it was safe or not, but I sure as hell did not want to be stuck on the top. Better to get it over with.
Thankfully it worked and we got down safely, patting ourselves on the back for facing our fears. It was time for some REAL fun.
Side note: So doing research for this post, I just discovered that the bridge has had elevator issues in the past…..If I had known that you can bet your derrieres I wouldn’t have gone up.
I don’t know what it is about Forts, but they really do feel like playgrounds for adults. With secret tunnels, hidden passageways, tunnels that needed flashlights, it was amazing and I was so over the moon happy.
Their is something incredible about how these forts were built in a time when everything was done by hand. Fort Knox was the first fort in Maine to be constructed of all granite. Building began in 1844 as part of anti-British sentiment due to the humiliation Maine faced at their hands in the Revolutionary and 1812 Wars.
Completion of the fort was never finished, due to funding issues, and while it was manned during subsequent wars, after the Spanish-American war, the fort was manned by a single caretaker, with command given to Fort Preble in Southern Portland.
After being sold to the state of Maine, Fort Knox became a historic landmark in 1970. It is one of the best preserved forts in the country and almost all of it is open to the public. It not only has some of the original weapons, but also many of the barrings that held them.
There was so much to see, including a passageway that went around the entire fort. It was so dark, that even the light from my phone was just a faint glimmer. You also couldn’t help occasionally yelling boo, scaring people. In all fairness I also had it happen to me, and did those screams echo!
Forts really do bring the maturity out in me.
No I wasn’t ready to jump out at someone…or was I?
This was a REAL ambulance! Completely up to sanitary codes..Right?
I couldn’t get over these cannons.
Or the views.
Or the creepy secret passageways that I had way, way, WAY to much fun in.
Home Sweet Home
After exploring for a few hours, we headed home where we watched Doctor Strange (which is amazing! I had seen it before, but I love myself some Benedict Cumberbatch!) and then played some more board games including several rousing games of Chess cause that is how we roll. Alas Dakota’s brother Jon beat me, despite my attempt to have several rematches…Oh well next time!
Since I was all pictured out I didn’t take any pics from that night, but I will leave you with these paparazzi outtakes.