Gulf Shores National Seashore and Pensacola Lighthouse

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February 17th 2011
Published: July 2nd 2011
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We had a good time in Pensacola, I had a change of plans as I didn't think that Tallahassee was as long of a day trip as it was, but there was plenty to do. We spent a few days going to some local antique stores and one day going to Gulf Shores National Seashore. Another day we went to the Pensacola Naval Museum and the Pensacola Lighthouse both of which were located at the Pensacola Naval Base and I strongly suggest that anyone visiting Pensacola makes time for visiting these sights. Please make sure that you have at least 5 hours available and preferably more. I will write more about the Naval Museum in a seperate post but for the sake of posting pictures I am combining photos of the light house with those from Gulf Shores. We probably would have enjoyed Gulf Shores more if we had gotten an earlier start and if we had left Casper behind as dogs are not allowed in the buildings or on the beach. We also did not get a chance to tour Fort Barancas which is a part of the National Seashore but is also located on the Navy base. We had decided to see it after seeing the Naval Museum and Lighthouse but after seeing both we found the fort already closed. There is an interesting small museum at the visitors center however that is worth seeing. The Pensacola Lighthouse however is very impressive and what a view from the top. There was information there about the lighthouse keeper's duties and what it was like to live at the lighthouse. Apart from the isolation it was a very active job. The keeper had to carry 6-8 five gallon containers of oil up the 170 plus steps every 5-6 hours and even when oil wasn't being carried there was a watch mechanism that had to be wound every 2 hours and there were windows and mirrors that had to be kept clean. Despite all of this activity the keeper had to be neatly dressed and presentable in case anyone dropped by. It was not unusual for all members of a keepers family to be involved in the duties required as it was a lot for just one person.The Lighthouse was 192 ft above sea level and had a visibility of 27 miles. It wasn't only men that served as keeper...they tell the story of one woman who arrived at the lighthouse at age 7 with her father and roughly 2 years later when her father was injured she took over the task of maintaining the lighthouse and she continued until she was nearly 80 years old when she finally retired. It really was a fascinating place.

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