Cape Florida, Cape Fear

Cape Florida lighthouse
Cape Florida Lighthouse
2004, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Biscayne Bay, Miami
Outside, the lighthouse looks inviting. Its white walls glisten against the blue Florida sky. Biscayne Bay shimmers in the sun. A palm tree waves it’s fronds in the breeze, as if to say, come in, come in! “I love lighthouses, I say. “I can’t wait to see the view from the top!”

Ah, the top; only 109 stairs up. I step inside. It’s hot here; the walls guard against the sea breeze. A circular staircase! How charming. I climb a few stairs, lovely, lovely. Then the walls start closing in.  It’s exactly like a convection oven - the heat, the closeness of the walls, the stairs cast like a metal oven rack. Channel your inner frog, Lucy! The frog that doesn’t mind being boiled alive!
Cape Florida staircase
The stairway to heaven goes straight through hell. Or rather, round and round through hell.
Just another 102 stairs to go, no problem.

Just another 98 stairs up - but still 109 stairs down. Going up is easy, but going down this death spiral? It makes my head spin and my stomach churn. Why is it so hot? 96 stairs to go - why am I feeling sick and panicked? There’s nothing to be afraid of! It’s a state park! Nothing bad ever happens in an American park! There are laws against it!

93 stairs to go. I can’t look up or down. I can’t move. I can’t see. I want to be anywhere but here. I could push through and make it to the top, but how would I ever get back down? Airlift? Could I just live at the top? Will Papa Johns deliver? What if only Dominoes delivers? I have never felt more unwell! (What about frog legs? Are they available here?) So I retreat, carefully, one step at a time, trying not to look at the walls that are pressing in on me, trying to breathe in the impenetrable heat. Young kids skip by me, giggling and excited, hopping up the stairs like frogs. I hate them, I envy them, I applaud them.

The ground greets me. Oh, marvelous ground! Why would I ever leave you? Feel that glorious breeze! Check out the shadows created by the palm trees! How interesting! 
Cape Florida Lighthouse palm trees

How many lighthouses have I climbed since that day, 12 years ago? None!
Cape Florida lighthouse lens and beach
The view from the top. Am I missing out?
Do you relish the light from the top, or prefer studying shadows from below? 

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  1. Was it the heat or claustrophobia? What happened 12 years ago?

    I love views from above, but of course, you can't take a photo of the actually lighthouse from there, so I appreciate the view from beneath as well. The spiraling stairs might make me dizzy and sick, though, but I have always pushed through, too curious about the view on top and not wanting to miss out. :-)

    1. Heat, claustrophobia and fear of heights. You're brave to push through- maybe one day I will conquer my fears (on a cool day!)

  2. I love lighthouses and will go up one whenever the opportunity arises, but I'm afraid of heights with claustrophobic tendencies (is that a real thing?) and the Cape Florida Lighthouse looks a little too close for comfort to me. I think I'd be happier hanging out with Hastings under the shade of the palm trees!

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

    1. I'm fascinated by this whole phobia thing. I can't do heights when they are buildings, but airplanes are fine. Caves are OK, but other tight places are terrible. Swimming in the ocean is fine if it's clear, but if it's murky forget it!

  3. I think you've hit on the heart of the problem - who delivers pizza when you're stranded. Dominoes is gross. I bet even Hastings would turn up his nose at Dominoes. Of course, Hastings wouldn't be foolish enough to be talked into climbing up all of those stairs :-)

    1. I don't know, there's cheese on all pizza, so it would be hard to say no to, especially if stranded! Pizza has too many unnecessary ingredients for Hastings. Just cheese and pepperoni are all he wants!


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