I experienced the joy of visiting two lighthouses within two days a week ago. The first one was in Georgia - Tybee Island Light Station, near Savannah. I enjoyed being able to share this with my husband and youngest son this time around. They particularly liked the view from the top and managed to coerce me to walk around too. Let's just say I had a death grip on my husband's arm as I made sure he was between me and the railing. Have I mentioned that I'm not fond of heights?
Our next lighthouse was in Pensacola, Florida. We had seen this one only from the outside over two years ago. This time we were pleasantly surprised to learn that it was now open to the public as well as its mini museum. The Pensacola lighthouse was just one step shy of Tybee, although this one took more courage to climb. The steps were intricate wrought iron swirls which enabled you to see all the way down to the bottom. Did I also mention that they were steep? Gulp! I went hand over hand with my vice-like grip on the railing, allowing myself to only glimpse at the step and not the plunging fall beneath me.
It took a bit of self-talk, tamping down my fear to make it to the top and then step out on the walkway. I even managed to touch the railing this time. I didn't walk all the way around, but instead settled with talking to the two volunteers that were inside where the fresnel lens rotated. I needed to do some research, don't you know! :)
The next few days I felt the affects of walking up and down those 700+ steps, but it was well worth the pain and discomfort. I was able to step back in time and experience life at the lighthouse. The one museum even had a five pound can that you could hold to see what it would have been like for the lighthouse keepers to carry kerosene from the bottom to the top, several times a day. I realize what great shape they must have been in. It was a job not for the faint-hearted like me. I enjoyed being able to write and experience it.