|Summary of activities:
It's all about the lighthouses for us
CAPE HATTERAS LIGHT STATION
This 257 stair monster is the tallest brick lighthouse in North America and second tallest in the world. The good news is we get to climb it! They limit the number of climbers in the lighthouse at one time to 30. When everything goes perfect you have 10 on the way up, 10 at the top and 10 on the way down. Then every 10 minutes they let 10 more in. Tickets are required and each has a start time printed on it. We were in the very first group of 10 at 9:10AM this morning so it was not yet hot inside the lighthouse. When temperatures get to high inside or if the weather gets to windy outside they suspend all climbing. With the forecast for later today both of those situations are extremely possible. We spent about 15 minutes getting to the top and another 10 minutes getting back down, but our 20 minutes at the top was well worth it.
BODIE ISLAND LIGHT STATION
The rules at Bodie (pronounced body) Island Light Station are a little different. First off, only eight people in the lighthouse at a time and one person at a time on each flight of stairs. So you have to wait and the people coming down have the right of way if someone is waiting to go in each direction (up and down). And oh yeah, there is a 260 pound weight limit per person? It doesn't make me feel it's quite as safe to climb as the other ones we've done. But climb we did! This one is a mere 214 stairs so it show be quick and easy, yeah right!
With the smaller number of climbers allowed at a time, paired with the climbing rules and the start times stretched out to every 20 minutes there are fewer tickets for sale each day. As with all climbing tickets they are first come first served and only available on the day you climb (no advance purchase available). So once again we were up early and were in the first group of climbers that day. There were a lot of people hanging around when we got down from our climb so just for curiosity's sake I went back into the office and found out they were selling tickets for the 2:30PM climb, all earlier times were sold out, glad we got there early.
CAPE HATTERAS NATIONAL SEASHORE
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