Exploring the Oregon Coast
Florence Travel Blog› entry 136 of 167 › view all entries
Remember the â€śhulking, iron shipwreck on the beachâ€ť at
Remember the book I was reading, â€śInto the Wildâ€ť (and finally finished) about the Emory graduate who lives alone in
Before leaving our beachfront campsite at
Did you know that nearly 400 miles of
One could spend a very long time exploring all the OR state parks, quaint seaside small towns, and the lighthouses along the rugged coast.
Todayâ€™s jaunt continued the famed Hwy 101 southward along the
We visited another lighthouse today- the tallest one in
Did you know that lighthouses are each identified by their light signal? The Yaquina Head Lighthouse signal is 2 seconds on, 2 seconds off, 2 seconds on, and 14 seconds off. Very cool.
We also learned that the Lightkeepers were required to show all visitors around the lighthouse whenever they dropped by unannounced, 6 days a week, in addition to their regular duties of keeping the light burning, making repairs on the lighthouse, etc. An inspector would show up 4 times a year, completely at random, sometimes at midnight for a 2 am inspection. They would do a cleanliness inspection of the house that would include running their white gloves atop the door to check for dust, which really irked the wives. The light was finally automated in 1923 (?) and the era of Lightkeepers came to an end. The kids got their picture taken with the Rangers in Lightkeeper attire.
Did you ever think about how much trouble it was to build a lighthouse? Think about how theyâ€™re located on rugged rocks, on the edge of high cliffs, above a raging sea! How do you get supplies in and the lighthouse built with the high winds? Then add in a lack of roads and require horses to pull wagons of supplies and youâ€™ll see why it took several years to get all the 400,000 bricks there and the Yaquina lighthouse and quarters constructed.
The Yaquina Head Lighthouse is within our federal governmentâ€™s BLM (Bureau of Land Management) area called the â€śYaquina Head Outstanding Natural Areaâ€ť that protects all within an expanse of area. I havenâ€™t seen the rather modern national designation of an â€śoutstanding natural areaâ€ť before.
So once again our
the wonderful and expansive Yaquina exhibit area
a nice movie about the lighthouseâ€™s history
a walk down a nice path to the lighthouse and up to the top of it
neat views of nearby Harbor Seals sunning themselves on the rocks and of many seabirds
access to the tide pools near low-tide in which we saw and touched an orange starfish and sea anemones. Okay, Lia touched them (youâ€™re allowed to touch, just not to pick them up) and we admired them.
We did stop at the Sea Lion Caves, but it turned out to be a for-profit deal where you take an elevator down to caves to see where Harbor Seals overwinter. Since the report on the street was that just one seal was down there right now and weâ€™d just seen about 50 of them on the rocks at Yaquina, we decided to pass on that activity as it was getting late.
Here are some interesting things weâ€™ve discovered about
â€śDonâ€™t turn your back on the oceanâ€ť: Apparently there are waves called â€śsneakersâ€ť that can come in while the tide is receding and sweep you into the ocean. So weâ€™re supposed to keep an eye out for them and â€śknow the tide schedule, which I cannot say Iâ€™ve studied much prior to today.
Helmets are required for bike riders under 16 and parents are ticketed if the kid is not wearing one. We know one kid who wears his unbuckled and claims he doesnâ€™t get in trouble (although it does him no good in an accident and weâ€™re not sure we believe that).
Youâ€™re not allowed to pump your own gas in
The State Parks here are huge (up to 500 sites), located everywhere along the coast and inland, top-notch, very busy, all Oregon Veterans are free (in Washington the resident Veterans are half price), and they have many Park Rangers keeping close tabs on who is here, registered, paid second vehicle fees, etc. It is a very well-run machine of a park system!