I’ve always been afraid of heights. I don’t think I got it from either of my parents. But in my forties, it has become much worse.

In my twenties, when I was an exchange student at the University of Sussex in southern England, I climbed up to the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral. The stairs up to the dome are enclosed in a wire cage. I don’t think I would be able to do that today.

So it was quite an achievement for me to get up all 60 or so steps of the Port Isabel lighthouse. Doesn’t look too scary in this view from the other Port Isabel museums, does it?Beth Partin's photos, Port Isabel lighthouse, Rio Grande Valley attractions

How about this one, from a little closer? Beth Partin's photos, Rio Grande Valley attractions, Port Isabel lighthouseHere’s where it got really scary for me. I stood on the third step and stared up at Todd for a while. He was very encouraging. With his help I managed to climb all the way to the top, where I confronted a three-year-old who was completely fearless. Of course. And then after I came down, my legs hurt for three days because I had been clenching my muscles so much. Beth Partin's photos, Port Isabel lighthouse, Rio Grande Valley attractionsI had many adventures in South Padre Island, but this one will stick with me.

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  1. Ernie Bradley December 17, 2010 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    But I remember you made it to top of that 14’er near Buena Vista with Dawn a few years back – don’t recall you had any problem with heights there?
    I assume the lighthouse had railings as well as landings ever so often per safety guidelines?

  2. Beth Partin December 18, 2010 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    Ernie, Mount Princeton was pretty easy as fourteeners go. It didn’t have a steep drop-off where I was hiking—more like a series of stone steps. It would have hurt if I had fallen down, but it didn’t look really scary. What scared me about the lighthouse was my ability to see all the way down. I knew I wasn’t likely to fall, but still I was scared.

    It had railings on one side and a couple of landings at the top.

  3. Gail Storey December 19, 2010 at 9:45 am - Reply

    Beth, Congratulations for being on the list of The Best Travel Blogs of 2010 on the Almost Fearless site! Your travel blog is as fascinating and well written as your Restoration blog, so now I’m subscribed to both.

  4. Laurel Kallenbach December 20, 2010 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    Glad you made it to the top! Looks like it was worth the trip. Pretty lighthouse!

  5. Beth Partin December 20, 2010 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    Thanks, Laurel and Gail (and Amber)!

  6. John December 28, 2010 at 9:46 am - Reply

    Nice post with excellent pictures. The pictures alone would make me want to go there, because they show how much character the place has!

  7. Beth Partin December 28, 2010 at 10:12 am - Reply

    Thanks, John!