Monday, October 20, 2008

A Weekend of Lighthouses

Because I know that you were all anxiously awaiting news of my return from the Great NJ Lighthouse Challenge, I decided to take a break from fooling around with carefully editing my numerous pictures to check in.

It was great fun, the weather was..interesting...and the sights were spectacular.
As to the weather. Well, it was sunny...and cloudy...and mild...and cold...and gale force windy.
You know what they say; if you don't like the weather, just wait 5 minutes. But at least there was no rain. Everything else, but no rain.

I started Saturday at 7 A.M. at Tinicum Range Light in Paulsboro, on the Delaware River, right across the river from Philadelphia Airport. Sunrise in a lighthouse is lovely and the sky was clear and promised smooth sailing. Until I headed southeast along the coast and I headed into the clouds. And wind. And extremely high tides. I guess I should have read the weather alerts.
Now if any of my friends or relatives are reading this, they were be happy for me to know that there is a very nice Cracker Barrel restaurant on the ride from Paulsboro to our next lighthouse in the Pennsville area. Of course I had to stop. Then Finns Point...interesting view of the Salem Nuclear Power Plant in the distance..East Point and the Cape May Museum.
The wind and clouds and high, rough seas just made for more interesting pictures as the trip continued along the Atlantic coast now. That is until I got to North Wildwood in the afternoon and had to avoid flooded streets as I drove down the island. I noticed something this weekend; waterfront property can quickly become flooded property in extremely high tides.

Now, my plan Saturday was to end up in Cape May last, because they were one of several lighthouse that they were staying open until 8 P.M. that night for a nighttime climb. Very beautiful...and quite cold, especially a couple of hundred feet in the air, standing out on a walkway. But well worth it.

Sunday morning, better prepared with a warmer fleece jacket, I headed north to the Twin Lights at Navasink and then Sandy Hook, with a detour around Fort Hancock for awhile, and then worked my way back south. Sea Girt...Jennifer, if you read this, you were right, a lovely house... Barnegat...where the wind was so strong they would not allow climbs...but the sky was clear and the sun was out! For a few minutes. Then the Barnegat eyeglasses almost blew off with the wind coming off the ocean, who knew that could happen...then on to Tuckerton and ended my day back in my 'home' lighthouse of Absecon.

You will be happy to know that even on a lighthouse weekend, I found books to buy. One or two lighthouse related, but I also happened into a nice little store in Barnegat Beach that had used books for sale as a community fund raiser. It is ones civic duty to help the community after all! Hardcovers $1...paperbacks 50 cents! The other things I bought were not to support the community, but the store owner I assume. Oh, if I only had more time to dawdle. But I had miles to go before I sleep, miles to go before I sleep. Hmmmm...maybe a prize if anyone catches that literary reference.
Oh, and somewhere I picked up a great DVD on the history of lighthouse illumination technology. You are all invited over to see that one! Popcorn and Fresnel lenses...woo hoo!

So, it was all great fun. I had many interesting chats along the way with the volunteers at many of the lights. I always find that people are eager to answer questions about something they love. These people have a sincere affection for their charges, the lights, and a genuine concern for their future preservation. So what appears to be a very good turn out this year, including a lot of young families with kids in tow, had them very happy. And it is always nice to have those kids racing past you on the spiral staircases, calling to their parents, still far behind them on the climb. Oh yes, we climbed, some faster than others...hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of steps we


  1. I agree - it was your duty as a caring American to buy those books. Miles to go before I sleep is from Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost.

  2. I'm glad to hear lighthouse week was not without books! :-)

  3. See! you people only care about the books! ;-)

  4. It is quite a trip isn't it. But very enjoyable. Your pictures are beautiful. I haven't been able to do a night climb and hope to do that some day, but that would mean altering our route. There is so much more to see en route other than the lighthouses, don't you think! I did not know that they weren't allowing climbing at Barnegat on Sunday - that was our last stop on Saturday night. Well, next to last. We visited the museum there last and I can't wait to go back there in the summer when the gardens are in full bloom. So glad to hear from you. Thank you for visiting my blog today.

  5. Half the fun for me is taking photographs. A good excuse to buy a new camera with a BIG zoom that I tried out on the more recent post about the Cape May Lewes Ferry.

    The night climb was great, the view from Cape May at sunset lovely! Several lighthouses offered it this year, on Saturday night. As I think I posted, I live near the Absecon light so it split the trip nicely in half for me.
    Yes, the wind was so strong Sunday when I got to Barnegat that they closed it for climbing, but I climbed it a month or so ago, so that was ok. And it left me more times to check out the rest of the park and the Information Center.

    There are so many interesting things to see in NJ...really. Have you checked out the garden behind Hereford Inlet? I love that it.

  6. Yes, we love the garden at Hereford Inlet! I always try to get a picture of the two of us in the gazing ball in the front garden.

    I also read your post on the ferry. We haven't been on the ferry but there is, or was, a boat trip that originated in Cape May that travelled up the river to view all the lighthouses in the water. It was a very nice trip that included lunch on the boat on the way back.

  7. yep...yep....that is on my plan for next summer. But you really have to take the ferry sometime. A nice ride...


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