On Saturday, October 18, HWNSNBP and I set out to do the Great New Jersey Lighthouse Challenge. This was our 8th challenge (the challenge is 9 years old - we missed the first one). The challenge consists of visiting all 11 of the lighthouses that are currently open and accessible on the third weekend in October. We started doing the challenge the year after our youngest graduated high school to fill our weekends with something other than the football games we were used to going to as either football parents or band parents.
There are 20+ lighthouses in New Jersey, and you might be surprised to know that not all of them are on the ocean side. New Jersey is a peninsula - like Florida - which means that it is surrounded by water and connected to the main part of the land by an isthmus. We have the Atlantic on the east coast and the Delaware River on the west coast - the isthmus is the portion that connects us to New York state.
There are lighthouses on the Delaware River - some are lightships in the river and there are others that are on land. Since we are located in what's referred to as Central Jersey, we choose to start on the Delaware and make our way around the Cape and up to Sandy Hook by Sunday afternoon. A little over 400 miles and a lot of time in the car together.
This is the first stop on the challenge - Tinicum Rear Range Lighthouse in Paulsboro which, if you climb it, has a spectacular view of Philidelphia across the river. It's just about an hour's drive from our home and it was a bit nippy that morning.
Each year Challenge participants receive a token at the lighthouses they visit. You do not have to climb the lighthouse to qualify for the Challenge - you only have to show up. Over the course of the last 7 years, I have climbed almost all of them. Unfortunately, it has become increasingly difficult for me to climb so this year I only did one - the last one. Even though we don't climb, it is the perfect time of year to travel throughout the state and we always come across things that we hadn't seen or noticed before. You might remember my post from last month about the shack. This year they also added two museums to the route and I will post a picture of them also.
So, over the next few days, interspersed with my "craft-related" posts, I will be bringing you info and pictures from the Lighthouse Challenge. I hope you will enjoy. If you would like to find out more about the Challenge itself you can visit http://www.njlhs.org/ for more information.