It’s a Miracle I Didn’t Plummet down Barnegat Lighthouse on Long Beach Island
We just finished checking out a few potential neighborhoods and we decided, as a family, to go check out Barnegat Lighthouse State Park. We thought, on this cold, brisk day, we would just quickly walk around and take in the sights.
To our surprise, there were quite a few people out, walking around the state park. If you have never been, it's at the northern tip of LBI in Ocean County. The sights are pretty incredible. You'll see plenty of people fishing along the banks and boats entering the waterway.
What happened next was not planned. We noticed, shortly after we arrived, at 10:30 am the Barnegat Lighthouse opened, allowing people to climb all the way to the top and walk out to the observation deck.
My youngest daughter, only a month old, is strapped to my wife like a 15-pound weighted vest. My oldest, now three years old, roughly 25 pounds (yes, she's tiny) wanted to be held, the entire time.
So, why not, why not walk up 217 steps to the top of the Lighthouse, with masks on. What could possibly go wrong?
We started off on our journey upward. Mind you, there is not an elevator, just a tightly wound spiral, yellow (or maybe some kind of mustard-colored) staircase.
My wife went first and I followed, holding my oldest daughter with my left arm and holding onto the handrail with my right. As we ascended, little notes were waiting at each landing, or as I called them, resting points. They were roughly spaced out just far enough, to make you think you're making progress but, mocking you at each stop with the reminder that you are far from the top.
Halfway to the top, we realized, "Oh crap, we have to make our way down this." No time to think of that so we forged ahead.
Finally, we made it to the last stopping point before the top where we could access the observation deck. Only 16 steps left, out of 201!
Once we got up to the top, we were greeted by a blast of wind, and chilled air coming off of the Atlantic. After a few quick photo ops, we scrambled back inside and started to make our trek back to the ground.
Wow, we thought going up was difficult. No, that was the easy part. After the climb in that tight space with two children. Going back down is just a little more difficult, you have to control your balance on the way down the narrow steps.
I had one issue from the start of our descent. I normally hold my daughter on my left side, I've had a few shoulder injuries on my right, and it's just difficult to hold her up. Well, there isn't a handrail at the top of the lighthouse for my right side. So I had to make a very quick adjustment and slowly stop back onto the steps.
Not going to lie, I was a little nervous but once I was able to get into a section of the staircase, it became a little easier.
I was extremely happy to see the ground at the end of this. Now, don't get me wrong, I would one hundred percent do this again. No doubt about that. Just not carrying my daughter. Just didn't expect to do CrossFit at Barnegat Lighthouse.
All and all, it was great to spend time with the family on LBI.
We will definitely be back to explore the Barnegat Lighthouse again.