Another gray day did not set the scene for a particularly productive afternoon's photography, yet my son and I nonetheless decided to head out once more to the Fort de Chartres on the Mississippi River in Illinois.
Unlike my last visit, we arrived well before closing time and, to my great satisfaction, the clouds lifted and late afternoon sunlight illuminated the stone fort.
Today, there were a good number of visitors, and I was happy to see that both the museum and the outhouses were open for viewing.
The modern visitors took a little away from the historical spell that I felt on my first discovery of this extraordinary place, but not that much. The ambience of the place reminded me a little of New Harmony, Indiana. Not the spiritual element, but the same aura of history, of people living and doing things there a long time ago. Looking inside the buildings, I smelt that lovely scent of aged wood, and looked around at a carefully reproduced set of artifacts representing the fort as it must have looked in the mid 18th century.
How much was original and how much modern copies, I could not tell, but clearly the ironwork was of old vintage.
Including a small cannon.
Old enough to intimidate to the local Fox indians whose great decline dates to the incursion of the French onto the Mississippi?
Today it looks quite benign, although there is a local group of local enthusiasts who fire off these things. The next firing is next weekend – I may go.
Outside, there are much larger weapons. Maybe these will be fired? That would be fun to see and hear.
We spent about an hour wandering around before heading back home, stopping at a Subway restaurant for a delicious sandwich, and listening to a Doctor Who radio adventure. Another very fine Sunday afternoon.