When we were at the state capitol building, we took a Dome Tour. The dome is actually taller than the national Capitol, although not as wide. And if you are brave enough, you can climb all the way to the top.
We started by taking the antique elevator to the top floor and then started climbing stairs, including this flight.
The view looking down through the rotunda was cool.
We climbed and climbed.
Years ago, you could climb the dome unattended and people often wrote or carved their names into the pillars and bricks. When the building was restored a few years ago, the restorers chose to leave the backs of the pillars and all of the bricks as they were, since the graffiti is part of the building's history.
After a few flights, we found ourselves on the outside of the inner dome, close enough to touch it.
The very center of the inner dome is left open, although intricately decorated.
Once above the inner dome, we could see the beams and clay tiles that hold together the outer dome, an enormous space.
At this point, I took a good look at the staircases that stretched across open air and then twisted into a tight spiral...
...and the stairs that would seem even steeper going down...
...and I decided that I had gone far enough. I just wasn't that brave. Steve and the girls, however, eagerly climbed all 296 steps to the top.
The view from the top was amazing!
That's our car down there!
The girls were so proud of their climbing accomplishments. After we'd climbed down and down and down and then took the elevator all the way back to the basement, they hurried to the gift shop to purchase I Climbed to the Top shirts.
See that little railing by the window under the statue? That's where Steve and the girls climbed. I made it to the beginning of the copper covering.