(click pictures to enlarge)
(all pictures taken with Nokia Lumia 929 Cell Phone)
Yesterdays exploration took me to Yaquina Head Lighthouse, located about 10 miles north of the campground. I seem to be attracted to lighthouses and will usually visit them if given the chance. To me, lighthouses are very special. It is like the old Motel commercial when the guy says, "we will leave the light on for you". It was the same for lighthouses and their keepers. It was the promise to the fishermen and merchant marines that the light would stay lit so they could find their way home or warn them about hidden dangers. You can imagine how it must have been a hundred years ago before Radar or Radio. On a dark, starless night as your sailing ship slips quietly through the emptiness, you see a flash of light, then it's gone. Time slows down as you wait for it again. The seconds seem like minutes and your mind begins to wonder if it was real or imaginary, then "bam" it flashes again. It is like a lifeline that has been thrown to you to help you get to shore or to pass safely through treacherous waters. The reason the sailors could see the light was due to the dedication of lighthouse keepers. Back in those days, the light was from burning oil, usually whale oil. The keepers had to keep the light burning through every type of storm. It will never be known how many lives they saved. I have seen lighthouse lights from the sea when I was in the Navy. We, of course, had Radar to guide us and tell us where the dangers were located. But, even with all the electronic gadgets helping us, it was a very good feeling to know that the lighthouse was there and we could see it. It represented life on the other end of that light. And it was good.
Yaquina Head Lightstation was built in the early 1870's and is the tallest lighthouse in Oregon. The lighthouse was brought into service on August 20, 1873 when the first light was lit. Its light can be seen 20 miles away. It became automated (no lighthouse keeper) in 1966. A "lightstation" is the lighthouse and all the associated buildings on the grounds used to maintain the lighthouse. The Yaquina Head Lightstation is built on a spit of land jutting about a mile into the ocean. The land consists mainly of basalt that was laid down by lava flows from an ancient volcano that erupted 14 million years ago. Well,,,,, I'm not sure about the 14 million year information but that is what they said in the brochure. It is hard for me to believe anything, including basalt, will resist the ravages of nature for that length of time. But I'm sure they have some kind of fancy data that they say "confirms" that time period. Oh well, to each their own.
I didn't realize it until I got to the entry booth where you pay the fees, but my America The Beautiful Pass that I bought back at Sequoia National Park would get me in free. The pass cost $80.00 and I've now saved about $20.00 and I have 11 more months to go before it expires.
I was told of a restaurant that had the best Reuben sandwiches in Oregon. I can not pass up the possibility of getting a great Reuben because the great ones are few and far between. The place was called Nana's Irish Pub. My first thought was; a Reuben sandwich is not Irish food, but I gave it a shot. I told the waitress what I had heard about their Reubens and she said yes they were the best then started in on trying to get me to order a Guinness beer. With the memories of the amount of beer consumed in the 70's, I passed on the beer and opted for just water. For a while I couldn't find it on their menu but then I saw it listed as a "Bunratty Reuben". I should have got up and left then, but I was hungry so I ordered it. Without being too critical, I will attest to the fact that the Rye bread was very good. The corned beef was about 3/8 of inch thick and I could barely taste the swiss cheese. There was cabbage leaves instead of sauerkraut and no dressing at all. I ate it, but it was definitely not a Reuben sandwich. The search continues.
The good thing about visiting lighthouses is their location. They are usually located in areas with fantastic views of the waters.
|The road leading to the lighthouse. The lighthouse keepers home and other buildings were destroyed many years ago and never rebuilt.|
|The walkway up to the lighthouse. Psst, there is a bench along the path too :)|
|A place where softer material has eroded away creating this little cove|
|A view to the north|
|A slightly different view|
|A "washing machine" area|
|The view south|
|The beach area to the south of the lightstation|
|The view out to sea from the edge of the road|
|I included part of Freedom to add some change from the water views|
|This squirrel was waiting on me at my campsite when I got back. It looked wet and cold. I think he was trying to dry and warm himself in the sun.|