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an icy veil
Ahhh, it's the end of 2009 and I am sitting here in the rain remembering the icy hell I went through just a few short weeks ago.
The above photo was not part of the icy hell. In fact, it was most enjoyable seeing a few frozen falls on my way out of town. I went to NH to see family and friends for a week at the beginning of the month. Ara was bringing me to the airport that morning, and we decided, hey, let's hit the Gorge first! We picked the "low hanging fruit" as neither one of us were prepared for serious hiking or chilly temps that morning (she was returning to work and I was traveling) and as such, I got this, my first shot ever, of Multnomah Falls. While shooting this photo I felt something nudge my elbow, rifling my pocket. No, it wasn't a car prowler, preying on hapless chilly female photographers, it was a mastiff whose head was the size of a medicine ball (at least) who clearly spotted me as a dog-person, and found the treats I always keep in my pocket. He could have given pony rides, he was that gigantic. A few more snaps and we were back in the car and hitting Horsestail before I was left at the airport at 11 am for my 2 pm flight. Beggars who hitch rides can't be choosers.
Chicago, the connecting city, was closed due to a blizzard. My 2 pm flight was suddenly looking like 8 pm at best. At one point all flights to Chicago were canceled, and I was considering attending the flickr Christmas meetup and trying to get to NH the following day; the problem was that the following day the storm would be over NH. As flights continued to jumble around, as they always do, I wound up flying out of PDX at 3 pm.
We finally landed in snowy, icy, frozen Chicago, and couldn't get a gate. As we sat on the tarmac, about a dozen travelers, all bound for NH, watched as our plane to NH left without us.
I spent the night on a cot in Midway, with another girl from Portland I made friends with quickly during the fiasco. We built a fort out of blankets and a potted palm tree and tried to fall asleep under the harsh fluorescent lights and sounds of unending, soft-jazz renditions of Christmas carols. Christmas carols were my favorite thing in the world to sing until that night. I slept fitfully, with limbs falling asleep due to the stiff nature of the cot, and used my camera bag as a pillow. I even watched an old man fall clean off his cot; it was a shitty night for all of us.
The TSA giveth, and the TSA taketh away, at 4:30 am a very nasty agent kicked our cots and yelled "TIME TO GET UP" I am not kidding. He relished seeing us all, confused after mere hours of sleep, dazed and trying to figure out where we were and why we were awake already. Bastard. My new friend and I fell asleep leaning on the McDonald's counter, waiting for them to open at 5 am so we could have Bacon Egg & Cheese Biscuits.
We then found the gate we were due to fly out of that morning and promptly fell back asleep on the floor, other travelers be damned, and waited for our 9 am flight. Our flight to NH was so empty that each of the 32 passengers got their own row, most of us had been in the terminal the night before, and we luxuriated on the comfy leather seats of Southwest, all three we each claimed, and even though we were curled up in the shape of a comma, it was far superior to the sleep we'd had the night before.
Dazed, tired, and terribly grumpy but relieved to be in NH 24 hours after getting to the airport in Portland the day before, I staggered through MHT, excited to be heading to my girlfriend's house for a shower. The kids were home from school that day, the roads were ugly, but I was ready for a warm house and a glass of something strong.
We all watched in horror as the baggage came out on the carousel, and none of our belongings from Chicago arrived. My giant pink and white polka dot suitcase was somewhere in the continental US, but it sure as hell wasn't in Manchester, NH. There was an earlier flight from Chicago to NH, with a stop in Baltimore, Baltimore was now closed. It stood to reason that our bags were sitting at BWI in the snow.
A flight from Baltimore was due at MHT within an hour, we decided to hang out in the baggage claim to see, if against the odds, our bags would arrive. One woman had to go to VT for a wedding the next day. One man was traveling on business and due to fly back to PDX the following day. We were not happy campers. As we watched the lage from BWI arrive, without our things, all hope was truly dashed. I would never see my things again, I just knew it.
We put in claims for our bags, and due to the unending fiasco we'd already been through, rather than CHARGE us for delivering our bags, Southwest was going to bring them to our destinations at their own expense. It was something.
I picked up the keys to my rental, and made my way dejectedly towards the rental garage, looking forward to hopping in the Rav4 I'd reserved, cranking the heat, listening to WFNX out of Bosto
Ten Pound Island Lighthouse, Gloucester, MA
Tradition tells us that Ten Pound Island, on the east side of Gloucester Harbor, received its name from the amount of money paid to the local Indians for the property by the early settlers. This commonly told tale is disputed by the Cape Ann historian Joseph Garland, who wrote that it was more likely named for the number of sheep pens (also known as pounds) on the island, which was reserved in the early days for "rams onlie."
Ten Pound Island gained notoriety in 1817 when several people reported seeing a large sea serpent in the vicinity. One of the witnesses was Amos Story, who said:
It was between the hours of twelve and one o'clock when I first saw him, and he continued in sight for an hour and a half. I was setting on the shore, and was about twenty rods from him when he was the nearest to me. His head appeared shaped much like that of the sea turtle, and he carried his head from ten to twelve inches above the surface of the water. His head at that distance appeared larger than the head of any dog I ever saw.
To help mariners find their way into Gloucester's inner harbor, and to help them avoid a dangerous ledge to the southwest of the island, Congress appropriated funds for a light station on Ten Pound Island in May 1820. A 20-foot conical stone lighthouse tower was built, along with a stone dwelling. The light was in service by October 1821, with a fixed white light exhibited from 39 feet above mean high water.
Amos Story of sea serpent fame became keeper in 1833 for $350 yearly. In 1842, Story complained that the tower and dwelling were both poorly constructed, saying, "The leaks around the windows of the dwelling-house are so bad that we are obliged to set a tub to catch the water whenever it rains hard. The wood work, frames, &c, of the windows, are rotten."
In the summer of 1880, the great American artist Winslow Homer boarded with the lighthouse keeper at Ten Pound Island. That summer Homer painted about 50 scenes of Gloucester Harbor.
Ten Pound island Light appears in some of these scenes, and also can be seen in some of the paintings of Gloucester artist Fitz Henry Lane (formerly known as Fitz Hugh Lane.
A new 30-foot cast-iron lighthouse tower, lined with brick, was built in 1881 along with a new wood frame keeper's house. A federal fish hatchery facility was added to the island in 1889. The hatchery was abandoned in 1954.
Edward H. Hopkins, previously at Cape Poge Light, became keeper in 1922. In 1940, in preparation for "Flying Santa" Edward Rowe Snow's present-dropping flight over the lighthouse, the wife of Keeper Hopkins spelled out a giant greeting with newspapers nailed to the ground, reading "Merry Christmas." Snow took a photo of the greeting, and the Associated Press distributed it to many papers later that same day.
Late that afternoon, the Hopkins' son bought a Boston paper on the mainland and rowed back to Ten Pound Island. When his son put the paper on the kitchen table, Keeper Hopkins was flabbergasted to see his home and lighthouse on the front page, in a photograph that had been taken just hours earlier.
In 1925, a Coast Guard air station was put on the island, with one small scout plane. Later two amphibious vehicles were added to the station.
The initial purpose of the operation was to catch rum runners in the area during Prohibition.
In 1956, Ten Pound Island Light was decommissioned and the fifth-order Fresnel lens was removed, replaced by a modern optic put on the old bell tower, later moved to a skeleton tower. The Fresnel lens is now at the Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland, Maine. The keeper's house and outbuildings (except for the oil house, which survives) were reduced to rubble. Ownership of the island reverted to Gloucester from the federal government.
In the late 1980s, the Lighthouse Preservation Society initiated the restoration of the lighthouse. It cost about $45,000, raised by the city and a grant from the Massachusetts Historical Commission.
Senator Edward M. Kennedy announced the grant, saying:
It [Ten Pound Island Light] has seen the stately schooners and the historic vessels that make their way to sea every day for over a century and watched over the Gloucester fishermen who braved the wind and waves to make their living. For some of those brave souls this... vista of Ten Pound Island was their final vision of land.
The tower was repaired by K & K Painting Company of Maryland and the automatic light was returned to the lighthouse. The renovation took over two years to complete. Ten Pound Island Light was relighted as an active aid to navigation on August 7, 1989, Lighthouse Bicentennial Day, in a ceremony complete with fireworks. The oil house was restored in 1995.
Ten Pound Island Light can be seen from many points along the Gloucester waterfront, including the ar
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