Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ledge Light

At the mouth of the Thames River here in CT there is a very unique lighthouse. It's called Ledge Light and I have always been infatuated with it. It doesn't look like a typical lighthouse. It looks like a house; it's not round, not particularly tall, and not on the shoreline. It's built atop a ledge in the middle of the water.

I love lighthouses. I've been inside many and taken pictures of even more. I've always known that the public can tour Ledge Light but often seem to 'forget' that fact until someone else brings it up. My sister-in-law did just that while we were camping last month. We were both like "ohhhh....we should go!" and "we've GOT to go out there" and then just as soon as I remembered, I forgot again.

Until she offhandedly mentioned maybe a week later, "We're going to Ledge Light tomorrow!" WHAT?!? You didn't call me?!? Right away I decided that my family and I were going too. Who cared what was "going on" the next day? I had a plan.

The entire tour was to take 2 and a half hours - 2 hours of which were spent at the lighthouse. The weather didn't look like it was gonna be great, but when we got to Avery Point the haze started to lift and by the time we got on the boat the sun started to shine.

It was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon. We toured the lighthouse from the top of the light to the basement; we learned the history of Ernie the lighthousekeeper who died there and the antics of the Coast Guardsmen who kept watch for years after; we were told why it is designed in the Roman-revival style (New Londoners wanted a 'sophisticated' lighthouse) and that the four faces of the building match the compass points; we learned how the light turned before the building was electrified (candlelight and a weight and pulley system through the center of the building) and how it survived the Hurricane of '38 (barely).

I was surprised the kids weren't bored - they really seemed to pay attention to the guide - especially the story claiming that Ledge Light is haunted by Ernie (Ghost Hunters tv show went there once).

I took a million pictures (although five minutes after leaving the dock my camera's batteries died; I highjacked Robyn's).

We took pics of Chris and I touching the lighthouse and of New London Harbor Light.

I really enjoyed the trip out there and I am sure I will go back again and just sit on the steps watching the water for two hours, it would be worth every penny (although it only costs $16 per adult).

Like I said, I love lighthouses but sometimes I find it hard to climb one even though I'm DYING to see the view from the top (in my defense...Currituck Light in NC had 216 steps and those steps were BARELY attached to the wall!). I will always go out of my way to see one, photograph it, and maybe even touch it. heehee