What did I learn from doing the NJ Lighthouse Challenge? Climbing lighthouses = great cardio! In fact, my legs are still sore. The weather was a little bit better on Sunday than on Saturday, much more sunny. But it was still chilly and windy. We only had four lighthouses left, so it was a much shorter day than the first day.
Our first stop was the Twin Lights of Navesink, a two-towered structure that sits on the Highlands overlooking New York Bay. I climbed one of the towers (they aren’t very high); there are good views of New York City. Interesting historical note: Marconi sent the first wireless messages from the site in 1899.
Sandy Hook Lighthouse is just a few miles from Navesink and was the logical second stop. It was built in 1764 on a tiny strip of land several miles long stretching out into the Atlantic (a serious navigational hazard for those entering New York Harbor). The Americans tried to destroy the lighthouse during the Revolution, to keep it out of enemy hands, but they failed and the original light still stands today. Amazing. The view from the top had even better views of New York City than Navesink did.
Next was Sea Girt Lighthouse, further south down the coast. It’s a beautiful redbrick Victorian building. Very windy, just across from the beach. Mom and Dad managed the easy climb up the tower. There was a long line and a narrow ladder but they did just fine.
The final lighthouse was Barnegat, on Long Beach Island. It’s a tall, red and white structure but I wasn’t able to climb it, unfortunately, due to the high winds (they had closed it). I was disappointed. I guess I’ll have to go back someday. Our actual last stop on the challenge was the Barnegat Light Historical Museum, where the original Barnegat first-order Fresnel lens is housed. We got our challenge completion cards and they even gave us a special card for doing the Long Island Challenge too, though the card actually said New Jersey and Maryland. Oh well, the thought is all that counts, I guess.
So my second challenge was fun. My sights are set on the Maryland one next September.