Digest>Archives> July 2008

The 2008 Maryland Lighthouse Challenge - Road to the Lighthouse!

Nine Lighthouses, One Lightship, Two Bonuses - Two Days!

By Karen Rosage


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The Chesapeake Chapter of the United States Lighthouse Society and the lighthouse organizations of Maryland beckon you to "see the light" during the 2008 Maryland Lighthouse Challenge — Road to the Lighthouse. The event, scheduled for September 20 and 21, 2008, will take participants to lighthouse attractions at some of the most scenic spots along the Chesapeake Bay, and its tributary, the Potomac. In light of this being a presidential election year, and to add a little excitement to the 6th annual event, Free State organizers are incorporating an election year theme into the festivities!

The ten original Challenge lights remain the same: the Chesapeake Lightship, Concord Point, Cove Point, Drum Point, Fort Washington, Hooper Strait, Piney Point, Point Lookout, Seven-Foot Knoll and Turkey Point. Challengers may visit any or all of these lighthouses, in any order and collect a complimentary campaign-style button at each. Scoring a perfect "ten" by visiting all of them within the allotted timeframe, between the hours of 8:00am and 6:00 pm (both days), will earn participants a special "completers" souvenir button AND the right to "cast a vote" for their favorite light!

To really put the "challenge" into this year’s event, there will be two "Bonus Light" offerings — caisson-style Sandy Point Shoal (to be viewed from Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, America’s sailing capital and home to the U.S. Naval Academy), and the newly constructed Blackistone Lighthouse Replica (a short boat ride from the St. Clement’s Island Museum in beautiful St. Mary’s county). For history buffs, St. Clement’s Island serves as Maryland’s birthplace, marking the spot of the first colonial landing there in March of 1634. This provides yet another great reason to come out and explore this historic site.

Organizers are pleased to offer these two distinct structures as bonuses to this year’s event; the goal being to introduce Challengers to as many different varieties of Chesapeake Bay beacons as possible during this two-day lighthouse adventure. The bonus lights are optional add-on attractions and do not count towards Challenge "completion". Due to time considerations, participants will need

to be conscious of time spent at each Challenge light if they plan to add one or both of these bonus lights to their weekend itinerary. You can download a copy of the event brochure from the Chapter’s website at www.cheslights.org. Be sure to read it thoroughly for details of this year’s event, and the featured bonuses.

As in the past, completers of both the 2008 Maryland Lighthouse Challenge in September and New Jersey Lighthouse Challenge in October will receive a "dual" Challenge souvenir to mark their accomplishment. Completers of the 2008 Long Island Lighthouse Challenge (which occurred in May), plus the Maryland and Jersey events will receive a "triple crown" lighthouse award. The Chapter is pleased to have helped promote these and the other regional lighthouse Challenges, including Maine’s 2nd Annual Mid-Coast Challenge (June), and inaugural runs of the Martha’s Vineyard and the International Lighthouse Challenges in June and August, respectively.

The Chesapeake Chapter can well appreciate the extraordinary amount of work that goes into hosting a Challenge-but also the fact that they are well worth the time and effort. Bringing together lighthouse enthusiasts from around the country to explore these amazing and altruistic structures and to honor the remarkable men and women who kept their watch is quite an honor indeed — worthy of a tip of the keeper’s hat!

"So…Come September, be prepared to "see the light" during the 2008 Maryland Lighthouse Challenge — Road to the Lighthouse. You’ll be making one Maryland Memory that you won’t soon forget!

For updated information and details on participating authors, artists, and other special guests, visit the Chapter’s website, or contact me at challenge@cheslights.org or by phone at (410) 437-0741.

This story appeared in the July 2008 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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