Category: Lighthouses

Motorcycle Travel Ideas: Mid-Atlantic Lighthouses

Motorcycle Travel Ideas: Mid-Atlantic Lighthouses

A few years ago during a pit stop at the DeLorme store in Yarmouth, Maine – I picked up a couple maps and travels books. One of the items I brought home was a map featuring Mid-Atlantic lighthouses. Having travel inspiration on the bookshelf at home is always a good thing.

Scanning around the map, reading the names of the lighthouses makes me want to visit them. How could you resist a place called Point No Point? Between you and me, that seems like the name that should be hanging on my office door. Then there is the gelatinous sounding Solomons Lump. Unfortunately that one isn’t accessible by land, which may be just as well. It sounds like it could be infectious.

I don’t know what initially sparked my affinity for lighthouses but they are one of my “go to” stops when looking for things to visit. Maybe it has something to with their implied independence, perseverance and strength against the elements. No matter how small in stature, the mighty lighthouse keeps shining its light when things get nasty.


So far, I’ve only visited a few of the lighthouses in the Mid-Atlantic region. But maybe that will change. Maybe this year I’ll find myself seeking out a few more.

Sandy Hook
85 Mercer Rd
Highlands, NJ 07732

Navesink Twin Lights
Twin Lights Historic Site
Lighthouse Road
Highlands, NJ 07732

Concord Point
700 Concord St
Havre De Grace, MD 21078

 

Old Blue Eyes and the Concord Point Lighthouse

Old Blue Eyes and the Concord Point Lighthouse

When I turned off of I-95 at the exit for Havre de Grace, Maryland I had only one goal in mind. I would visit the Desert Storm muffler man.

desert storm muffler man havre de grace maryland

As I approached the station where he stood outside, my GPS chirped “Approaching. Desert Storm muff-a-ler man. On right,” in that quirky way she does. Muff-a-ler. It makes me snicker every time.

This muff has some piercing blue eyes, doesn’t he? I feel like he could use a little Chapstick, too.

havre de grace maryland muffler man

On a cluster of “Welcome to” signs that greeted me on the way in to town, I spotted one that mentioned a lighthouse. I hadn’t realized just how close to the Chesapeake Bay I was.

After I finished up with ole blue eyes, I looked up the lighthouse on the GPS and went for a visit.

concord point lighthouse havre de grace maryland

What a sweet little light it was!

The Corncord Point Lighthouse stands a mere 30 feet tall. It’s just a pipsqueak compared to some that I’ve visited. But, what it lacks in height it makes up for in charm.

I strolled around the small park grounds and watched the sun’s light shimmer on the bay. It was just me and a few elderly couples milling about.

I lingered a while, soaking up some sunshine. The heat felt so good after the pouring rain I’d ridden through during the previous 24 hours.

concord point lighthouse havre de grace marlyand

More often than not, I don’t  stop and explore local attractions. By my own doing I am usually focused on something specific and gems like the Concord Point Lighthouse go unnoticed.  I need to work on slowing my brain down a bit and not always being on to the next thing. (I know, good luck with that.)

Do you follow those tourist landmark signs when you see them?

Sights from the Road: Pennsylvania Landlocked Lighthouse

Sights from the Road: Pennsylvania Landlocked Lighthouse

This landlocked lighthouse is a re-purposed grain silo, sitting on Kernsville Rd. in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Needless to say Kenny and I were pretty surprised to see it in the middle of the rolling, green hills. If ships are running aground in Allentown, I’m thinking a twirly light isn’t really going to help.

Landlocked Lighthouse Kernsvill Rd. Allentown PA

Don’t you just love the dreamers of the world? Have you ever seen a landlocked lighthouse?

Checking In At The Old Field Point Lighthouse

Checking In At The Old Field Point Lighthouse

Aside from riding around in a Gumby suit, I was busy nerding it up in other ways on Sunday.  I was messing around with Foursquare trying to see if I could unlock the Great Outdoors badge during my ride.

I rode down Old Field Road to it’s very tip to see if the lighthouse would be listed as a park. As it turns out, it wasn’t. As a matter of fact it wasn’t listed in Foursquare at all. I was the first person to check-in at the great, old lighthouse.

Old Field Point Lighthouse

This granite beauty was finished in 1868. Though it is no longer active as a lighthouse, it still has a purpose. Since 1963 it has served as the Old Field village hall.

Old Field Lighthouse Buoys on the fence at the Old Field Lighthouse Looking across Long Island Sound from Old Field

Kenny’s dad is a pilot. A few weeks ago, he took us flying around the Island and we spotted the Old Field Lighthouse from the air:

Old Field Point Lighthouse from the air

I never did get my Great Outdoors badge on 4Sq but I did enjoy my ride and the beautiful fall weather.

Interested in Lighthouses? According to this site, Long Island is home to 19 of them. So, far I’ve only visited or seen a few:

Motorcycling Long Island: Sunday at the Fire Island Lighthouse

Motorcycling Long Island: Sunday at the Fire Island Lighthouse

The Fire Island HouseA 60 degree Sunday afternoon at the end of November is a treat here in the Northeast. Old man winter is patiently waiting to come knocking on our door. In the meantime we made the most of our limited daylight hours with a riding excursion to the Fire Island Lighthouse.

We parked our motorcycles in one of the parking fields and walked along the wooden walkway amongst the golden reeds. There are signs of deer, foxes and other small animals everywhere. Sadly we didn’t catch a glimpse of any.

The Fire Island Lighthouse is New York’s tallest lighthouse at over 160 feet above sea level. We found that out in a hurry when we trudged our gear laden behinds up the 156 steps of the narrow spiral staircase. The combination of the post-Thanksgiving food hangover and the motorcycle gear made for an um… labored climb to the observation deck. 😀

I’ll tell you, it’s always that last ladder at the very top of so many lighthouses that really gives me the willies. I’ve got a bit of the fear of heights. I have imagined myself tumbling ass over teakettle down the spiral stairs with a decidedly ungraceful thud on more than one occasion. What is it about turning around on a ladder to come down backwards that is so scary?

The ride itself to the lighthouse isn’t thrilling. But a nice walk in the sunshine, the rolling waves along the beach, the sea air – they make it worth the trip.

Ahoy! The Fire Island Lighthouse The Fire Island National Seashore Sign Bikes at Fire Island National Seasore
Crudmop at the top of the Fire Island Lighthouse View of the Island to the West - Robert Moses Causeway Fire Island Lighthouse
View to the East from the top of the Fire Island Lighthouse Fire Island Lighthouse

For More Information:

Day tripping on a sunny Sunday on the coast of Maine

Day tripping on a sunny Sunday on the coast of Maine

The town of Rockland sits on Midcoast Maine’s Penobscot bay. A perfect strolling town, lined by charming window displays of clever artisan’s works, sparkly baubles and puffin related souvenirs, Rockland brings to mind what a small American town should look like. No strip malls, no Burger King drive thru, no shiny officeplex housing a cubicle farm full of disgruntled workers.

Streetview of Rockland Maine

We walked along watching ice cream eating families laughing as they too walked. I couldn’t help but be completely enamored with watching an elderly man hand painting the lettering on a store window. The story that I built in my mind had him doing that very thing for the last 50 years.

Rocklane Maine - Handpainting window writing

I was very excited to see that artist Robert Indiana, a Maine resident since 1978 currently has a featured exhibit entitled Robert Indiana and the Star of Hope at the Farnsworth Museum. While looking at one of Indiana’s quintessential LOVE sculptures on a street-side display I heard someone who is clearly not versed in art history say, ‘Hey, I know that sculpture.’ Such a reaction just serves to show the importance of the pop artist in the fabric of the public psyche.

Robert Indiana LOVE sculpture in Rockland Maine

After a month or so of rain in the state, we were fortunate to have a big blue sky and warm weather for our day trip. This gave us the perfect opportunity to comfortably walk the nearly one mile limestone breakwater out to the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse. The lighthouse was open and free to climb up on its deck and finally up the narrow spiral stairs to the light tower. The last 5 or 6 steps up the ladder into the lens area are not kind to those afraid of heights but the view of the harbor and a watching a 1940s biplane from the Owl’s Head Transportation Museum giving a tour of the coast made the shaky legged trip back down the ladder totally worth it.

Rockland Maine Breakwater Lighthouse

Rockland Maine Breakwater Lighthouse up in the light tower

Rockland Maine

Sights from the Road: Portland Head Lighthouse

Sights from the Road: Portland Head Lighthouse

Maine’s oldest working lighthouse, the Portland Head Light was a a pitstop on our recent trip back home to New York from Maine. The subject of countless photographs and blog posts much better than I could ever muster on both fronts, here it is nonetheless.

More info on the Annie C. Maguire Shipwreck here

What do you think a kid sees out there on the horizon? I wish I could remember.

Maine Lighthouses: Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse

Maine Lighthouses: Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse

Saturday was a gorgeous day for us to head out on to the jetty to visit the Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse. It was actually open that day and for $2 you could head on up the ladder of the lighthouse. I’m not sure what was the most fun hopping along the rocks of the jetty or getting to see the house close up. I think it was a draw

The Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse

Wednesday Wanderings

Wednesday Wanderings

Sometimes when you’re in the clutches of that mental state that lives in the fog between sleep and wakefulness, anything seems reasonable.

I’m finishing up my month long break in between my old shitty job and my new fabulous one, so I’ll just roll with the punches and see where life takes me. Like… oh, I don’t know… riding around in circles looking at fiberglass legs.

Whatever. I’m just going with it.

Cheshire Connecticut Muffler Man Legs
Cheshire, Ct.

Top Dog Lunch Wagon Portland Connecticut
Portland, Ct.

Norwich Connecticut Muffler Man
The mighty Muffler Man of Norwich, Ct.

Ledge Lighthouse
New London, Ct – Ledge Lighthouse

I hopped on the New London-Orient Point ferry to head back to the Island. I had no idea I was so sleepy. As soon as we got underway, I snapped a quick pic of the Ledge Lighthouse and then laid down on one of the outside benches that run along the length of the ferry. The next thing I knew, I open my eyes and looked over the railing to see the Plum Island Lighthouse. I had just dropped right out into a deep sleep for an hour of the hour and twenty ride.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I fell asleep on the sidewalk next to a gas station once. And at various picnic tables, parks…etc. ::shrug:: One day in my slumber, I’ll just be randomly carted off with the trash and no one will hear from me again.


Plum Island Lighthouse

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