Sand Castles, The Beginning

That wonderful creation, sand – which, when wet, will hold a shape; when dry, still won’t come out of your shoes. We (I, siblings, friends) really only started building castles while on vacation in 2004. I’m not really sure if we qualify as “serious” builders or not.

This first batch was built (in what, 2003? 4?) while camping at Stillwater Campground in Groton State Park on Lake Groton in Vermont. They were all constructed at Boulder Beach, a handy paddle (or sail, if wind) across the lake from Stillwater.

The Castle of Beginning was the first one, hence the boring name. It’s still not bad, though I don’t have a shot of it finished. Had some technical difficulties which required reconstruction of the tower three times. Mostly built by yours truly, before I enlisted the whole crew. Roughly two and a half feet in diameter.

Clerm (pronounced Clairm) was not technically the second, but we didn’t take any pictures of the second one because we didn’t get very far on it. (Practice, if you will.) Who cares about piddly numerical order, anyway? Clerm was a good castle. About four feet in diameter.

The Castle Polygon! We decided to be different and go for something more artsy than your usual castle type. Or that’s how it ended up. It started as something different, maybe like Fort Ticonderoga, but that’s as far as the fort thing went. Our castles tend to grow somewhat organically. About two feet high, probably four to five feet in diameter.

Fortress Whasit – The fortress that hath not a name. It’s really amazing how hard it is to build on top of a rock. Dry sand won’t stick and sand that’s too wet drains quickly and washes out foundations, so one must regulate the water content very carefully. Even so, we still had to heap some extra dry sand around the base in places to keep the bottom of the wall from washing away. This shot doesn’t give you the best idea of the castle itself, but it shows the road down the rock and the kid lends a nice artistic touch. This one is about three to four feet off the ground.

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