August 4-14, 1986
October 2001: We are often asked how we got interested in lighthouses. The following is not a "journal" as such, but more of a description of what we have come to call "Our Maiden Journey" into lighthousing. We are also often asked why we don't have any photos of Maine lighthouses on our website. This description should help quiet a few of those concerns, as we have 14 Maine lighthouses included. ~ Don & Diana Carter
Our love of lighthouses began in August of 1986. We lived in White Lake, Michigan at the time, which is about 35 miles northwest of Detroit. Diana and the kids, David and Andrea (ages 16 and 13 at the time) planned our family vacation to Maine. We had been to New England in 1977 but only got as far north as Kennebunkport, Maine. This trip 9 years later started in Kennebunkport and we headed north along the shore with our final destination being Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.
After our overnight stay in Kennebunkport, we headed north on I-95. As was the usual custom, Don did the driving and Diana was the navigator with maps, brochures and AAA tour book piled on her lap. As we approached Portland, Diana began reading from the AAA tour book about the area.
"Oh, Don, the book says the most photographed lighthouse in the United States is located in Portland." Since Don is an amateur photographer, she thought he might be interested.
"How far is it?", Don asked.
Diana replied: "Just a few miles off the expressway."
Don answered, "I don't think we have time for that!"
Diana said, "I just thought it might be interesting." Subject closed.
We spent our next night in Booth Bay. In the evening on a stroll around town, we enjoyed the sidewalk sales and Diana picked up a book called The Lighthouses of Maine by Wally Welch as a memento of the trip. That evening in the motel she showed the book to Don and he enjoyed the beautiful pictures and thought the lighthouses were pretty neat.
We took a boat ride the next day and saw several lighthouses from the boat: Burnt Island (which was too far away for a decent picture), Ram Island Light and Pemaquid Point. Don remembered the lighthouse book and the beautiful photographs and commented that our travels the next few days would take us near some of the lighthouses and perhaps we should try to see them. We saw Pemaquid Point Light (from land this time) and Marshall Point Light.
The lighthouse "bug" had bitten and then we began going out of our way to see the lighthouses. By the time we got to Bar Harbor, we were hooked and began to figure out how we could see as many lights as possible before we left Maine. We saw Bass Harbor Head Light and Egg Rock Light (again this one was too far away for a decent picture) before heading south.
Then Don made his big pronouncement: "Honey, you know what we have to do before we head home." And Diana said "Yes, we have to go back and see the Portland Head Light." Remember, we had been only a few miles away from it and now we were in Bar Harbor, 150 miles away!
David and Andrea thought we were nuts that next day. We managed to see Fort Point Light, Curtis Island Light, Indian Island Light, Rockland Breakwater Light, Owl's Head Light (where we picked up information about the U. S. Lighthouse Society), Doubling Point Light, Kennebec River Front Range Light, Portland Head Light, Ram Island Ledge Light, and the Cape Elizabeth Lights before heading west towards home. We thought that was pretty good for 'one' day!
When we arrived home, we told our friends about the beautiful lighthouses we had seen on our trip. Someone said, "You know, there are lighthouses on the Great Lakes too." Since we live in the Great Lakes state, the thought of being close to lots of them really excited us.
For Christmas, Diana surprised Don with Charles Hyde's book "The Northern Lights" and that winter we began planning our First Great Lakes Lighthouse Expedition.
Trip Totals - 14 lighthouses; 11 days.
Lighthouses: A Photographic Journey
Copyright © 1995-2001 David S. Carter, Donald W. Carter, & Diana K. Carter. All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means, physical or electronic, in part or in full, without the express permission of the authors, is strictly prohibited.