Like many people, I love lighthouses. I’m fascinated with their history, beauty and structure. Lighthouses invariably hold stories in their construction and use. Keepers worked in difficult, lonely and often dangerous conditions to keep the lights operating. It’s no wonder that lighthouses represent leadership, hope and safety, depending on the situation.
When conditions are right, climbing the twisted steps of lighthouses is a physical challenge with the prize of a wonderful view at the top.
Some of my favorite lighthouses are located at one of my favorite places-the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I know we’ve made it when I see the horizontal lines of the Bodie Island lighthouse.
For the longest time this lighthouse was undergoing renovation and was closed to the public. It reopened several years ago and we’ve managed to climb it twice. On windy days, the outer observation deck is closed. Always check at the desk to see how far you can go. Tickets are available for specific climb times.
Few lighthouses have as dramatic a history as the Hatteras Lighthouse. Almost lost to the ocean several times, it was finally moved inland about 20 years ago in an amazing engineering feat. This is listed as the tallest in the US, so the climb is challenging. The view is worth it, but they can also close the observation deck on short notice due to wind conditions.
The Ocracoke Lighthouse is not climbable, but on a good day a park ranger will be available for a peek inside and to answer questions. The incredibly thick walls of this lighthouse made it a refuge for Ocracoke residents during hurricanes and strong storms.
In my opinion, the climb up is always easier than the climb down. It can be scary to look down and see how far the steps have taken you! I always get a little dizzy on the way down as well. Yet, there’s something about a lighthouse that lures me in anyway.
via Photo Challenge: Twisted