Sunday, May 27, 2012

West Coast Lighthouses

My main reason for this trip was to see the Columbia River Gorge. Carol, during the planning process, mentioned she would love to see Redwood Trees. Hence the trip was designed around those two items. Obviously, I love lighthouses. I wanted to see at least one lighthouse in each of the west coast states.

Below is Battery Point (Crescent City) Lighthouse in California. It can be reached at low tide by walking across the exposed sand and rocks to the path that is visible in the picture. We did do this and we did take the tour. I did climb up into the lantern room but could not go out as the railings are being restored. Carol opted to remain below as the final ascent was up a straight metal ladder attached to the wall.

 There is a second lighthouse near Crescent City and on a clear day can be viewed by walking out St. George Point. From this point the St. George Reef Lighthouse may be viewed. I caught a very brief glimpse and before I could focus my camera the fog rolled back towards shore. It is located just beyond the middle of the two rock outcroppings in the picture below.

The first light that we visited in Oregon was Cape Blanco Lighthouse towering above the westernmost point in Oregon. It is the oldest standing lighthouse on the Oregon Coast. We were slightly delayed  as we had to wait for several cows to walk off the road. 

There was a quaint little gift shop  and a wall mural of the Oregon lights.

 Second was the Coquille River Lighthouse in Bullards Beach Park, two miles north of Bandon on the north bank of the Coquille River. It was decommissioned in 1939 and restored in 1979 as an interpretive center. A solar powered system operates the light atop the 40 foot tower.

The next light that we visited was Umpqua River Lighthouse. An earlier structure was the first sited light in Oregon. It fell into the river in 1861 when sand eroded under the foundation. The current structure with a 65 foot tower overlooks sand dunes from 165 foot elevation on the south side of the bay. This is identical to Heceta Head Light. There is a very nice museum on the grounds with a gift shop. The museum is free and very nice. We spent some time in the museum. The lady in the gift shop was very knowledgeable and we talked to her for awhile.

Two views of the Umpqua River Lighthouse.

 Following is a picture of the Keepers Quarters for the Heceta Head Lighthouse. Unfortunately the Heceta Head Lighthouse was completely covered by what looked like a heavy canvas shroud. I surmise that it is being sandblasted and the old paint contains lead. It was very crowded there and I opted not to make the long walk to see it.

 The last lighthouse that we saw in Oregon was Yaquina Bay Lighthouse. This is the second oldest standing lighthouse on the Oregon Coast. Located on the north end of the Yaquina Bay Bridge. In original service only from 1871 to 1874 when it was obsoleted by the brighter Yaquina Head Lighthouse. It was re-lit and recognized as a private aid to navigation by the U. S. Coast Guard in 1996.

 I wanted to see at least one light in Washington State and we visited North Head Lighthouse located two miles North of the mouth of the Columbia River and now located in Cape Disappointment State Park. Construction began in 1896 and was lit for the first time May 16, 1898. A $10.00 fee was required to park in this park.

As you can see it was foggy and cold with a strong breeze off the Pacific. I had met my goal for seeing at least one lighthouse in each state and we left to find our hotel in Hood River, Oregon to begin our visit to the Columbia River Gorge.

1 comment:

Linda Dunbar Philpott said...

Enjoyed your pictures. Lighthouses are such beautiful structures.