Saturday, July 05, 2008

"Down the spiral staircase," Maine, May 2008

Descending the spiral staircase of a lighthouse -- in this case, Pemaquid Point, Maine -- can be tougher than the climb. Pemaquid's a short tower (only 38 feet) isn't that bad, but climbing one of New Jersey's three sister towers -- Barnegat, Absecon (in Atlantic City) or Cape May, the shortest of which is 157 feet -- involves a rather simple, if arduous, climb to the lantern. You can pull yourself up with the railing and focus your eyes on the steps in front of you.

But going down, you slide your hand along the brass rail and watch the steps in front of you. The vertigo creeps in and the windows notched in the brick walls provide a good excuse to take a break and look out into the distance, giving your eyes a rest from the monotony of the winding stairs below you. It doesn't help that the wrought-iron steps have holes in them (easier to keep them clean and provide traction when wet, I'd imagine) so that you can see way, way down.

1 comment:

Lauren jonczak said...

Wow, what a great picture! I would love to see this in person. I could look at pictures of spiral staircases all day. I always said that I would have spiral stairs in my house. I was actually looking at spiral staircase prices the other day. I think they would add elegance to my house. Thanks so much for sharing Dan.