Hi, Selective Potential readers! My name is Kristina, and I blog over at Eccentric Owl. Tieka has been my favorite blogger for years (in fact, she was the one who inspired me to get more into fashion!), and when she posted for some guest bloggers to have adventures while she takes the week off, I just had to propose the idea of a lighthouse post. There are so many beautiful lighthouses here in Washington, and I'm so thrilled that she liked the idea so that I can show off one of our own!
Admiralty Head lighthouse is located on Whidbey Island. It became operational in 1861, and its first inhabitant, Captain William Robertson, was described as a "grey, grizzled sea dog." Over the years, it also had a few female assistant keepers -- one named Flora, who apparently was a favorite of the keepers-- in order to even out the male-female ratio of 9-1 at the time. It was originally built as a wood lighthouse, but during the Spanish-American war era (the end of the 19th century), it stood in an ideal place for gun emplacements, and so was moved and recommissioned as officer housing and a temporary medical clinic. The Spanish-style lighthouse that exists today was then built just west of the fort, and eventually the original was torn down and the wood used to build a house on the island. I absolutely loved this one; it's unique from the other lighthouses I've visited in that the keeper's quarters were rebuilt attached to the lighthouse, and they're huge! Two stories of rooms, a grand wooden staircase, a good-sized pantry and kitchen, and a main room were all open to visitors to wander.
What I also loved about this was that it was free to go all the way up to the now-empty lantern room, which you reached by scaling two stories of the metal stairs, and then a scarily-steep ladder-esque set of twelve or so steps up. It was super fun climbing the regular steps, but my balance is starting to go south the more pregnant I get, so the last little set definitely sent my heart racing! Especially going down!
From the view at the top you were able to see the beautiful ocean between the island and the mainland, the forest behind the lighthouse, and the nearby bunkers of Fort Casey. I absolutely loved the lattice-style of the windows at the top. So beautiful, and so unique! I'm not sure when they were added, though, as I noticed in a few older pictures that the latticework is not present. I wish they'd still had a light in the room; it's an amazing sight to see the Fresnel lenses turning and reflecting rainbows of light. You can still see one of the lenses used, however, if you visit what was once the living room in the attached living quarters!
We had so much fun visiting Admiralty Head! I think I love lighthouses a little more than my husband, and I definitely spent a lot more time inspecting all of the artifacts left behind and imagining what it would be like to live in a lighthouse. He was much more interested in nearby Fort Casey and the enormous bunkers that are open for the public to wander (and for little boys to scare little girls; we heard so many startled screams, haha!). Military bunkers are super fun to explore, too, though so I didn't mind! After wandering all the nooks of the lighthouse, we headed over to walk the bunkers.
The most interesting part, to me, was the really tall guard tower (I think?) with crazy stairs leading up to it. And I do mean crazy; the three-story cement stairs seemed almost magically suspended in the air, and were only anchored by one post at each landing. I wasn't afraid, but as I was leaving, one girl was lamenting the fact that her boyfriend had convinced her to follow him up. It's definitely not an adventure for anyone who is afraid of heights!
Of course, my husband caught me with my phone out because it's really hard for me to leave my phone when we're on adventures. I have to take pictures and instagram everything! So addicted. This adventure was definitely the most fun I've had at a lighthouse, and I hope to be visiting more as the year goes on! At least, I will until I get too pregnant to mount all of the steps! I hope you all enjoyed reading along as much as I enjoyed visiting the gorgeous Admiralty Head. Have an absolutely beautiful Tuesday! Much love, Kristina.