Saturday, November 20, 2010

Oh ye old beautiful lighthouse!

Stepping down from yesterday's soapbox, it's back to the itinerary!  Not to worry, I'm sure I'll be revisiting my familiar soapbox again in the near future :-).

OK, so we've been in Maine these past few days, right?

Well, how could we leave Maine without seeing at least one lighthouse?!?!  Unthinkable!

With that notion in place I did my research, googled and mapped things out.  We were going to head a bit out of of way, that is off the main road leading us south, to meet with THE Maine lighthouse face to face.  Boy, the puns with this state never end do they :-).  Anyway, this was the ONE object chosen to symbolize the state of Maine on the US States Quarter Series.  You can't get any more representative than that.  In case you don't know, in addition to the regular eagle backed quarter, or 25 cent coin, there are 'state' quarters.  Each state got to choose one object to represent itself on its quarter.  Those quarters are in circulation and are also collector items.  Inventor btw is just such a collector.

Back to our day though.

It seemed like forever as we wound down the narrowing roads heading to Bristol, on the tip of one of Maine's many peninsulas.  Our destination was the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse.

The lighthouse has been in operation for a little over 180 years.  The light way up at the top is just over 150 years old!  Though now fully automated, the light still flashes every 6 seconds during the night.  No, it does not flash during stormy days.  I was pretty surprised at that.  It has to be an extremely dark and stormy sky for the light to switch on during the day.  Something very rare, even up here.

This particular 'point' was the site of many shipwrecks over the years.  Individuals have also lost their lives here after being swept out into sea while simply standing on the granite during high surf.  The latest tragedy occurred in 1991 when a 37 year old man was taken by the ocean....

The lighthouse keeper's quarters stands adjacent to the lighthouse and now houses the little fishermen's museum we paid a visit to as well.

Since we got there a little after 1, a late lunch was the first thing on the agenda though.  Nothing like a bundled up picnic on a very crisp day right on the ocean!


This is THE lighthouse.  Not too tall, not too fancy and it doesn't cry out 'look at me! Look at me!"  Well, I guess it should call for attention in a way though, but that's what the light's for.  My point is it's simple, modest, understated yet beautiful.  Just like the state it represents.


When we went inside we found out that Whirlwind was not going to be allowed up :-(.  He didn't meet the height requirements.  As compensation he was going to get the privalige of ringing some bell over at the museum.....Fortunately, that worked and he hardly fussed at all.  I think his slight fear of heights might have had something to do with it.

Given the fact that Whirlwind had to stay down below, we had to split up our party and visit the top in two separate groups.

S went first with Inventor.  Here he is climbing the winding staircase....


Next up were the girls.

Here's the view from the top of the stairs looking dooowwwwnnnnn...


And of course the most important view, the one from the very top -


Facing northeast.  There are the boys, way down there....


Facing southeast,


Once we all had our turn up top, we went to pay a visit to the museum I mentioned earlier.

The same museum Whirlwind would get to ring his conciliatory bell in,


Yes, he enjoyed himself.  But like I said, he didn't feel that bad to begin with.

This was pretty cool, a 28lb lobster caught in the 60's and was believed to be 75 to 80 years old at the time!  I really hope they let it die of natural causes.....Can you imagine killing such a spectacular thing??


This fellow obviously did not die of natural causes :-(.  Look at the size of him!  In case you can't read the fine print, he weighed 254lbs!!  I'd hate to run into the likes of him swimming along minding my own business.....But see, that is why I am not a big fan of ocean swimming.  Really.  I kid you not.  Gazing out on the ocean and wading in the water is fine.  But going in where I can't see the bottom or even where the water comes up higher than my knees, uh uh.  Not for me.  And don't even talk about jumping in way out there somewhere....Never!  There, now you know about one of my paranoias.


Moving right along here......

I have no idea what this


is.  It obviously has to do with fishing or 'loberstering' but I forgot to pay attention....All that mattered at that moment was that you were allowed to touch it and turn the crank and that the boys were quiet and still for a minute.

Now this,


was pretty cool!  It's an eye witness account dated 1676 (!!!) from a survivor of the Angel Gabriel shipwreck in 1635.


Another survivor of that same wreck sent such a sorrowful account of it to his wife back home in England that she refused to board a ship to join him!  He refused to board a ship to return to England after his harrowing experience and they spent the rest of their lives married but apart.  Reading and hearing about such personal accounts really makes one internalize the true significance of various locations and events....As sad as they are, it's pretty cool.

After that brief peer into tragedy and frustration, we went to explore the very solid rocky shore just below the lighthouse.  That same rocky shore many a ship crashed onto and more than a few people were swept off of....In a storm the waves swell up and sweep over this entire stretch.  In fact, I'm sure the ocean rises above it in high tide as well.


The veins, colors, layers, and textures of this shelf were incredible,




As 5 o'clock was fast approaching we needed to get out of there and start making our way back down the coast.  We were going to be driving into Massachusetts early tomorrow morning, making our way to Lexington and Concord and the site of the famous 'shot heard 'round the world'!


  1. Wow!! Fantastic capture of the East coast. Thanks for taking the time to share this with us.

    Stay safe and continue to have fun!


  2. Thank you Freely Living Life and you're welcome. Finally joined your blog as a follower today! Hopefully we'll meet somewhere down the road :-).