Thirtieth Lighthouse Expedition
November 1-6, 1997
Florida Panhandle, Alabama, Mississippi and Lousiana
November 1, 1997, Saturday
(all times EST)
- 8:30 am
- Left Home
- 12:25 pm
- Picked up lunch at Arby’s in Dayton, Ohio and left at 12:40.
- 7:10 pm
- Arrived at Diana’s sister and husband’s home in Tullahoma, TN.
November 2, 1997, Sunday
- 10:30 am
- Left Cynthia & Dick’s.
- 6:20 pm
- Arrived at the LaQuinta Inn in Tallahassee, FL and had dinner at Julie’s place next door.
November 3, 1997, Monday
sunny and 74°
- 9:15 am
- Left the LaQunita Inn in Tallahassee, FL.
- 9:55 am
- Arrived at St. Marks Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center.
- 10:10 am
- Left the visitors center and drove the 6.8 miles thru the Wildlife refuge.
- 10:20 am
- Arrived at St. Marks Lighthouse, which is still in operation. It was built in 1831 The same family of keepers, the Greshams, kept the light from 1892-1957. It’s a beautiful spot on the Gulf in Apalachee Bay. Palm trees, too,! On the observation deck were U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service workers (Robin and two volunteers Betty and Vienna) tagging monarch butterflies,. The migration is about three weeks behind schedule this year but considered to be the best in 20 years. Left at 10:50.
- 12:10 pm
- Arrived at the Crooked River Lighthouse. It can be seen from Hwy. 97 (Take Cape St. and walk to the lighthouse.) It is red, black and white and needs paint. Left at 12:20. The water is too choppy to consider taking a boat out to see Cape St. George.
- 1:00 pm
- Had Hardees for lunch in Apalachicola and left at 1:20.
- 1:45 pm
- Arrived at Cape San Blas Lighthouse. This was the 5th Lighthouse built in this area. It is on government property just beyond the Air Force Radar Station. We had to stay on the beach to take pictures. The keepers dwellings are in very bad shape. It is very windy and the waves are high. This is a white skeletal steel structure with a black lantern room and the lens was covered. Left at 2:10.
- 2:35 pm
- The St. Joseph Lighthouse is now a private residence in Simmons Bayou. (Hwy 309 off 98.) It was originally located in Beacon Hill west of St. Joe. The light was located at the top of the keepers dwelling. 2:45 pm left. The drive along Hwy. 98 was long and tedius!
- 6:15 pm
- Stopped at the LaQuinta Inn in Pensacola. Went for dinner at a Stake and Ale and walked around the mall for exercise. (O.K., some shopping, too.) Returned to the LaQuinta at 8:45.
November 4, 1997, Tuesday
(sunny and 75°)
- 9:30 am
- Left the LaQuinta in Pensacola. As we drove toward the lighthouse, the saw the Blue Angels stunt flying team practicing right in front of us. It was amazing. It was the most fantastic air show, and right on our way to the lighthouse.
- 9:55 am
- Entered the Pensacola Naval Air Station.
- 10:00 am
- Arrived at the Pensacola Lighthouse. We walked around the lighthouse and took a path down to the beach. We met a young man from IL named Dave who attended Pensacola Christian College and now works for the college. He told us we had indeed been watching the Blue Angels. They do their practice every Tuesday about this time and then this weekend is the Fall Air Show. By the time we were out of the car and could really watch, it was over! However, we did see some fantastic stunts. The Pensacola Lighthouse was the first built by the United States on the FL coast. It was finished in 1825. The original Fresnel lens from 1858 is still used today. The wife of Jeremiah Ingram suceeded him as keeper when he died in 1840 and served until 1855. As did all of the lighouses along this part of the Gulf, it sustained damage during the Civil War. Left at 10:40.
- 12:55 pm
- Arrived at Fort Morgan State Park and saw the frame remains of Mobile Point Lighthouse. Left and drove down the road a little bit and walked toward the beach but decided to return to the fort to get pictures of Sand Island Light. It’s a ways out in the water and the sun is not in a good spot, but we did take a picture. We really did not expect to be able to see this light, so it was an added bonus. Left again at 1:40. We’ve now seen two of Alabama’s three lighthouses. One of those is a relic, and the other is no longer active. The third light is not active either, and is too far out in the water to be seen from shore.
- 2:20 pm
- Had lunch in a Taco Bell in Foley and then visited the Riviera Center Outlet Stores. Left at 5:00.
- 5:55 pm
- Arrived at the Hampton Inn in Daphne across the bay from Mobile.
- 6:00 pm
- Had dinner at the Oyster House on Battleship Blvd and could see the USS Alabama.
- 8:10 pm
- Back to the Hampton Inn.
November 5, 1997, Wednesday
(sunny and over 75°)
- 10:00 am
- Left the Hampton Inn in Daphne.
- 11:40 am
- Attempts to find and see Round Island Lighthouse near Pascagoulas failed. The only way to get there would be to charter a boat, and we decided not to do that this trip.
- 12:25 pm
- The Biloxi Lighthouse is not difficult to find. It is right in the middle of Hwy. 90. Can’t miss this one! It was neglected during the Civil War and erosion caused it to lean 2′ and they had to straighten it up. This light was tended mostly by women. Pretty white sand on the beach.
- 1:30 pm
- Had lunch in Gulfport.
- 2:15 pm
- Stopped for a Dairy Queen.
- 3:25 pm
- Arrived at the New Canal Lighthouse in New Orleans on Lake Pontchartrain. We took pictures from the street side and then from a causeway on the other side. Left at 4:00 and drove the 23 miles across Lake Pontchartrain.
- 4:55 pm
- Arrived at Tchefunite River Lighthouse at the mouth of the river. We left at 5:00. Of the fifteen lighthouses in LA we saw two! The other one we may have a chance of seeing is on the far west side of the state and we’ll include it when we visit TX.
- 5:20 pm
- Stopped at the Dairy Queen.
- 6:55 pm
- Arrived at the Hampton Inn in Hattiesbury MS.
- 7:10 pm
- Went to the Outback next to the Inn for dinner.
November 6, 1997, Thursday
- 9:30 am
- Left the Hampton Inn in Hattiesburg MS.
- 1:40 pm
- Had lunch and Dairy Queen at a Stuckeys.
- 6:50 pm
- Arrived at the Comfort Inn just south of Louisville, KY.
- 7:10 pm
- Dinner at a Cracker Barrell nearby.
November 7, 1997, Friday
- 8:20 pm
- Left the Comfort Inn in Louisville, KY.
- 1:25 pm
- Lunch at McDonalds in Dundee.
- 2:50 pm
Trip Totals: 10 Lighthouses, 2910 miles, 7 days.
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Lighthouses: A Photographic Journey
Conceived and Developed by David S. Carter
Photographs by Donald W. Carter
Text by Diana K. Carter, Donald W. Carter & David S. Carter
Copyright © 1995-1998 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.