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The Lighthouse

So, a couple of weeks ago, I went again to visit my Mom down on the Jersey Shore; because this summer she had her 80th birthday, and to celebrate it, my brother rented a house a block from her so that his entire family (grown children and spouses) could converge, since Mom's place doesn't have the room (and has a cat, to whom my nephew's wife is deathly allergic). I went down for part of the week to visit with the entire family, and as is my wont, took some pictures.

One of the things I decided to do was go up and visit the Barneget Lighthouse, which is one of the... well, probably the ONLY attraction of any significance on LBI (as we do not have a boardwalk or casinos or other familiar hallmarks of other shore resorts). My relationship with the lighthouse stretches back many many years, to when I was very small. To climb it by yourself for the first time was a milestone. To bike to it for the first time (10+ miles there and back from where our house is) was another. To bike to it alone, yet another. And like other landmarks in places with which one is very familiar, after a while, you take for granted that it's there, and you don't go. So every few years, I like to go back.

This time, I also decided to climb it, which is something I haven't done in so long that I can't remember when I last did. Mom had gone with me for the ride and the short walk, but didn't mind my leaving her to sit at the bottom for a short bit. (Well; she thought it was insane that I wanted to go up, and wouldn't I rather just walk out along the jetty? But no.) Built in 1857, it is the 4th tallest lighthouse on the east coast, and the tallest of the NJ lighthouses. It has 217 steps to the top. (After my experience last summer with Yosemite's Vernal Falls trail's 600+ steps, I was hardly deterred.)


It has to be said, it was the perfect day to do it. The preceding days had been kind of humid and hazy, but we'd gotten rain moving through the night before, and this day was still warm but nice and crisp.

Views of the rest of LBI stretching south, and of the narrow inlet between the island and the northern long skinny peninsula of Island Beach.





A rough panorama of same:


Alas, the first-order Fresnel lens it contained is no longer inside (it's in a nearby museum). But apparently (and I didn't even quite realize this), since 2009 it has had a working beacon that runs from dusk till dawn. I will have to make a point to try to see it, even if it's probably not as impressive as seeing the original lens would be. But here is a picture of its beacon, and now that I know that it works, the way the beacon is blocked off from the tourists at the top makes more sense.


The steps down:


The top and its observation deck, from the ground:


The standard postcard view:


So, that was fun. And will hold me for the next few years. Though now I have as a goal to try to see the light itself.

Next: pretty sunsets; gulls and sandpipers.



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 8th, 2011 07:41 pm (UTC)
I love the photos! What beautiful weather you had that day. It looks like it was almost impossible to take a bad photo.

Is that the beach that was covered in snow last winter? Can you see your mom's house from the lighthouse?
Sep. 8th, 2011 07:50 pm (UTC)
I'm sure this beach was ALSO covered in snow last winter, yeah. But my Mom lives in the middle of the island, which is 18 miles long, and this is on the northern tip. So you really can't meaningfully see her house (and anyway it would be blocked by taller houses).

Although, as I'll demonstrate with the pics tomorrow -- from the high deck of a house just a block over from hers, I was able to take a very blurry pic showing the top of the Lighthouse. (We've always known that on certain clear days, the Lighthouse is juuuust visible to the naked eye when you are driving across the bridge onto the island, which hits the island more or less at its midpoint.)
Sep. 8th, 2011 09:41 pm (UTC)
Beautiful pics :-)

Also - what pretty feet you have *g*
Sep. 9th, 2011 07:01 pm (UTC)
Why thank you! :) Foot, anyway.
Sep. 8th, 2011 10:14 pm (UTC)
Wow, great shots, fabulous sky. *hugs*
Sep. 9th, 2011 07:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Yes, I particularly like the sky in that first shot. Really was perfect weather.
Sep. 9th, 2011 07:35 pm (UTC)
Looks gorgeous.

PS> Er...just posted a drunken moose story. :)
Sep. 9th, 2011 05:33 am (UTC)
Wow, you've got a great lens on that camera, to get such a good shot of the lantern room from below.

The original Fresnel lenses do give some fantastic pictures when they're still in operation. Here's an example: Pigeon Point Light, on the one day a year that the old lens gets lit. (And probably the last day for a while: they're planning to take the lens out so the building can be stabilized.)

Anyway, these are great photos! Thanks for sharing them.
Sep. 9th, 2011 07:05 pm (UTC)
Hah, my first thought was, what do you mean? They had a plexiglas ceiling inside the top keeping us from climbing up alongside the lens, but it had a bunch of 8" diameter holes cut in it, so I just stuck my camera right up into that opening and took the shot...

Oh, right, you mean the one of the entire top of the lighthouse taken from below. Gotcha.

Oooooohhhh! That is SUCH a cool shot of the Pigeon Point light. Maaaaan. Now I really want to be able to see an old Fresnel lens in operation in person, darnit. However, I don't think my camera can do the kind of extended exposures you'd need to get a shot like that. But boy, that's neat.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )