Digest>Archives> July 2008

Maine-New Brunswick Challenge Offers You A Chance To Be Among the First


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This map of the Lights Across the Border ...

Lighthouse Challenges attract lots of people. Some are true lighthouse aficionados, some are just people looking for an interesting weekend event to have some fun and do something different, while others are new to the world of lighthouses and want to meet other people with the same interests. Whatever the case, the upcoming Lights Across the Border, International Lighthouse Challenge being held in Maine and New Brunswick will have something for everyone.

First and foremost it is important to know that a "Lighthouse Challenge" is not timed event like a road rally, nor is it a race, nor does it require any specific skill, other than driving and finding your way to a specific number of lighthouses and then viewing them. While at each lighthouse you receive proof that you were there and then you go on to the next lighthouse. After you have viewed all the lighthouses on a specific Challenge you will receive a certificate or souvenir, depending on the challenge, as an reward for viewing all of the lighthouses.

However, this summer’s "Lights Across the Border," International Lighthouse Challenge being held on Saturday August 9th in Maine and New Brunswick, on and across the border of United States and Canada, offers those that take part in the event, the opportunity to be the first people in history to ever participate in an International Lighthouse Challenge. Since few people have the chance to be part of the "first" of anything, this is an excellent opportunity to do so, all while having fun learning about and visiting historic lighthouses and their history and exploring the coastlines of two nations.

With the $15.00 registration fee for the "Lights Across the Border" International Lighthouse Challenge, those that pre-register will receive a complimentary tote bag that features the colorful map that was designed for the event. The map will be given to each participant in the Challenge and will be stamped at each of the five lighthouses that you visit or view, all of which can easily be accomplished in one day. Included in each tote bag will be a number of free gifts that organizers say will surely delight every attendee.

The International Lighthouse Challenge also offers people a rare chance to view inside four of the five lighthouses included on the tour, weather permitting, which include the famous red cross marked Head Harbour Lighthouse, where the Challenge starts, and the red topped Mulholland Lighthouse, both of which are on Campobello Island in New Brunswick, Canada. Although you can climb the ladders up and down the cliffs and over the rocks to the Head Harbor Lighthouse to climb the tower and tour the keeper’s house, you are not required to actually visit the island lighthouse if you don’t want to or are unable to do so. The lighthouse can also be viewed from shore to get your souvenir map stamped proving that you were there. But be careful, don’t get too near the edge of the cliffs.

In Maine, you will visit the famous red and white-striped West Quoddy Lighthouse, which is the easternmost lighthouse on

the mainland of the United States and was once featured on a U.S. postage stamp. West Quoddy also offers one of the most spectacular hiking trails on the Atlantic coast with panoramic views from high above the cliffs. There is also a museum in the old keeper’s house.

Although the Lubec Channel Lighthouse sits in the channel surrounded by water, it can viewed from a number of places in the Lubec area. However, to get your map stamped for viewing Lubec Channel Lighthouse you will need to stop at West Quoddy Gifts, in Lubec, which is the easternmost gift shop in the United States.

Included in the Challenge is a free boat ride out to Little River Lighthouse, which is located on a small island in Maine’s Cutler harbor where the keeper’s house and tower will be open for the event. It was once listed as one of Maine’s Ten Most Endangered Historic Properties.

Although not included as part of the International Lighthouse Challenge and if you have the time, you can also drive to Calais, Maine, to view Whitlock’s Mill Lighthouse, which can be viewed from a park near the lighthouse.

On the evening of the event, the Friends of Little River Lighthouse, a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation, are hosting a lobster dinner, with chicken also available, at the grade school gym in Cutler. The dinner, which is a fund raising event for the lighthouse, will feature live entertainment, raffles, autograph signings and an auction. Advance dinner tickets, which are $30.00 each, can be ordered by calling 207-259-3833 or on-line at www.LittleRiverLight.org.

The day after the event, on August 10, people are also invited back to Campobello Island’s Lighthouse Days where there will be live music, food, crafts, an auction and much more. Also the Cutler United Methodist Church, where Little River lighthouse keepers and their descendants have worshiped since 1847, is inviting attendees to worship with them.

To register send, $15.00 to: Lights Across the Border, P.O. Box 671, East Machias, ME 04630 or to register on-line go to www.LittleRiverLight.org. To learn more you can also send $2.00 for a registration booklet or call 207-259-3833.

For those who attend, they will always be able to recall and always be able to brag to future generations, that they were participants in the FIRST EVER, International Lighthouse Challenge, Lights Across the Border." Think of the memories!!

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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