The Portland Observatory is the last of its kind in the US - an old maritime signal tower, now preserved as a museum and as a great viewing spot overlooking Portland, Maine and the adjacent water and land.
Before new technology came along and made it obsolete, you stood at the top with a telescope, sighted approaching ships, and used flags to signal how many and which kinds of ships were coming, so people on the docks could get ready for the arrival and the unloading of cargo.
It was constructed and initially manned by a retired sea captain, Lemuel Moody. An enterprising and meticulous individual, he lived nearby with his wife and brood, who spent significant chunks of their childhood running up and down the stairs:
These days, along with footsteps, other sounds you hear regularly from the stairs are the words "watch your head", followed by a loud hollow thud.
The lovely views make up for the minor headaches.
You can also spot patterns that at ground-level would go unnoticed.
And once you're back on the ground, don't forget to look up.