After a colder night in Pensacola, we headed down to the Gulf Coast. Crossing our most expensive toll bridge yet- $7.50 one way. (Florida loves toll highways or Turnpikes and toll bridges) .  The Weather was really terrible, windy and rainy, but that will not stop us. After an Emergency hot drink stop for Aya, We headed into the Visitor Center for some information on the Park. After a quick walk thru a Live Oak Forest, we drove 30 mins (across another toll bridge) to the Fort Pickens area.   Fort Pickens was a U.S Army fort built in 1829. During the Civil War, it was a Union fort, engaged in combat with a Confederate fort across the water. Thousands of cannon balls were exchanged during this time. We skipped most of the U.S military history, but seeing a just about 200 year old military fort was interesting. The Beaches here were spectacular, probably the nicest we have seen so far. Too bad the weather was cold, and just as an FYI- do not try and drive on these beaches, the sand is very soft.

 

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Making Hot chocolate

Making Hot chocolate

Sometimes hot drinks are not enough, you have to turn to moonshine. (at 9am)

Sometimes hot drinks are not enough, you have to turn to moonshine. (at 9am)

So windy, the road would disappear if they did not plow the sand off

So windy, the road would disappear if they did not plow the sand off

one of 200 Cannons at the Fort

one of 200 Cannons at the Fort

Tiny tunnels, they stored gun powder in chambers at the end of these tunnels

Tiny tunnels, they stored gun powder in chambers at the end of these tunnels

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This cannon was huge. the barrel weighs 50,000 pounds

This cannon was huge. the barrel weighs 50,000 pounds

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Many large planes doing some crazy manoeuvers. Across the Water is the Naval Air Station Pensacola (which is massive)

Many large planes doing some crazy manoeuvers. Across the Water is the Naval Air Station Pensacola (which is massive)

Oil Tanker in the Gulf of Mexico

Oil Tanker in the Gulf of Mexico

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Do not drive on the sand, especially in a federally protected area. The Park Rangers have full police powers. Busted!

Do not drive on the sand, especially in a federally protected area. The Park Rangers have full police powers. Busted!