On the day he was most driven, we headed for an educational trek to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse with Middle Sis, her hubby Mike, Baby Sis and her friend Dino.
As you can see, it was a lighthouse. This lighthouse had a winding metal staircase involving 268 steps. On a hot day. And we had the joy of knowing the whole thing had been moved a considerable distance from where it was built in the 1800's, a thing which added to the thrill of wondering about structural integrity. More spice for the old ticker as we climb to the pinnacle.
(The bald spot above is where the lighthouse used to be!)
We all began the ascent and rested at each level with a window. As we neared the top, Middle Sis and Baby Sis refused to go all the way. Siezed by terror, they begged me to get Husband, who was on top quizzing the Park Ranger for factual details, to come down. I did try, but he was too wrapped up in it all. So I went down alone leaving the sisters to experience their fears without me. I thought about all the nights of fear they caused me as teenagers and continued down musing about things that go around and come around.
Being a fast walker as well as a cheapskate, I headed for the free museum on the grounds. It was a wide ranging nautical exhibit. Old ship items, WWII U-Boat pictures, portraits of lighthouse keepers and such.
Meanwhile, the family panic changed focus from Husband to me, whom everyone feared had come to an untimely end. Just because I came down fast doesn't mean I fell over the side.
Husband ran out of questions for the ranger and descended with his fearful daughters and they all group hugged and went looking for me. They found me and we recounted our adventures in the heat, the height, the paranoia, and the mystery of how two old folks could fearlessly walk up a lighthouse and not be overcome by inertia, senility, or giddyness.
Son-in-law Mike found a local one-armed restaurant critic, who gave five stars to a biker bar called "Pop's" and we ate, we drank, and we all lived happily ever after. At least for that day .