I've recently gotten interested in coastal defense forts. Well, I've always been interested but I've gotten moreso... especially with the Endicott forts (as opposed to the System 1, 2 and 3 forts). I think an interesting ride theme would be to visit the "Triangle of Death" forts: Forts Casey, Worden and Flagler with stopovers at Fort Ebey and Fort Townsend.
For those that don't know know the history, these forts were built on advice of a study done in the late 1800s to design coastal defense points around the continental US. These fort designs were known as Endicott forts and were also used elsewhere including the Phillipines. Some unique and interesting features included disappearing gun carriages and breach-loading mortars. Many of these forts have now been converted into state parks and visiting them is like visiting the modern equivalent of military rhunes. Fort Worden was the command center for the "Triangle of Death" that comprised of the overlapping fields of fire from Worden, Casey and Flagler. These forts mounted heavy direct and indirect fire large caliber weapons. They were meant to defend the entrance of Puget Sound. Unfortunately, the Endicott design never anticipated airpower and eventually the forts were obsoleted not only by coastal defense air patrols but also by the fact that their design offered little protection against air attacks.
I haven't totally mapped out a route yet but I'm thinking of starting at Fort Ebey on Whidbey Island and then travelling south towards Fort Casey. Then take the ferry from Keystone to Port Townsend. From there it's on through town and up towards Fort Worden. Then back down through Port Townsend and out of town towards Fort Townsend taking a coastal route and staying as much off 20 as possible. From Fort Townsend, it's on towards Port Hadlock to cross the Indian Island Naval Reservation using Flagler Rd. and then to Morrowstone Island. Going north on Flagler Rd. up Morrowstone Island ends the trip at Fort Flagler. To get back, I would simply reverse my route back towards Port Townsend and the ferry to Whidbey. I figure the route from Ebey to Flagler will be around 45 miles with the roundtrip total being somewhere around 85 miles. The trick is to stay off the main roads as much as possible (avoid 20) to avoid heavy fast traffic and also give a more scenic ride.
Thoughts, suggestions, comments?
I think this same theme can be repeated near the Washington-Oregon border too by touring the Columbia River forts.