Monday, October 15, 2012

East Inner Line Drive - Artillery Park

I drove to Port Kennedy a few days ago, primarily, to get a few images to add to the blog showing how US 422 cuts through the old village of Port Kennedy, separating Kennedy-Supplee Mansion from First Presbyterian Church of Port Kennedy.

While I was there I figured I would get a few more images in Valley Forge Park.
I decided to go to site of the old Valley Forge Observation Tower built on Mount Joy in 1906. The tower was disassemble soon after 1976 because the trees had grown taller than the tower and people found looking down was just not interesting. It was shipped to Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, near Wellsboro, PA, where it was reassembled and stands today.

I remembered that there was a parking lot near a trail that led to the site. I didn't have the official park map, or any map for that matter. I was left to my own devices to find that parking lot - memory and Mt. Joy rising in the west.

My route started at the entrance to the park near the Visitor Center. I drove over North Outer Line Drive past the log huts to Gulph Rd. I turned right onto Gulph Rd. and then left at the next intersection onto East Inner Line Drive.

I traveled a few hundred feet on East Inner Line Drive, when I noticed two cars parked on the right side of the drive heading in the same direction as I. I turned my head to the right and saw five people near a log hut. Two of the five had professional sized cameras and lenses, one looked like a bride, in her wedding gown with no jacket, one a groom and the fifth was a sensibly dressed women in a long skirt and red wool jacket. The high temperature for that day was 62ºF / 17ºC and they were outdoors two hours before sunset. It was getting chilly for not having on a jacket. Ah, what price fashion! 

Traveling on, the two-way road soon came to an end at a stop sign. The road before me was a one-way road in the opposite direction. The only legal thing I could do was turn into the parking area for which I was searching. I had arrived.

I saw several cannon near the far end of the lot.  I drove to that end of the lot and parked. I threw my camera bag strap over my head with the bag on my left hip. Down towards the cannon I strode.

This collection of cannon is called Artillery Park. There were quite a few cannon, sixteen, if I remember right. All painted blue and yellow.

It was about two hours before sunset. As I photographed the cannon, the sun was soon to drop behind the fully leaved trees on Mt. Joy. Only small pools of sunlight played peek-a-boo from behind the scattered clouds. That kind of light could be really dramatic. Patience is needed waiting for the right opportunity. An opportunity that may not materialize on any given day.

As I turned to return to my car, who should be walking in my direction but the wedding party. I had to stay in the area just to capture a few images of the photographers creating wedding photos of their party. I am interested in photographing photographers in the act of photographing. I am not sure it is something psychological or it is revealing behind the scenes magical secrets. I am neither a psychologist or magician. Why do you think I do it?

I was loosing the sun quickly behind Mt. Joy and all of its trees. As I had a pressing appointment, I packed my camera into my car and headed out of the park. I never did find the old observation tower site that day.

The park is 3,500 acres / 1,400 ha in area. There will be many days spent photographing the park in the future. I will get to the old observation tower site at some point in time.

©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved

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