There’s a Light…house


Right. Some of you asked for lighthouses. You asked after Lockwood and I left the coast. There were lighthouses aplenty, but I’d basically blown them off in favor of the geology. Bugger.

Still. Got a couple for ye. Well, one of them’s a fragment of a lighthouse, but it’s veritably a lighthouse.

Umpqua Lighthouse

Umpqua River Lighthouse

So that’s the light on the Umpqua River Lighthouse. See? A light! I stood there I don’t know how long trying to catch the little flashy light as it cycled past.

A light in the Umpqua River Lighthouse. Imagine that.

A light in the Umpqua River Lighthouse. Imagine that.

It turns out this lighthouse has an interesting history with geology, specifically the kind of geology that tells you that building your lighthouse on the sandy banks of a river might be a laughably bad idea, as there is an essential difference between sand and sandstone. Namely, rivers like to erode sand and deposit it elsewhere. Which the Umpqua River promptly did, dumping the original lighthouse into the water within four years of its inception. The current lighthouse was more reasonably situated, and Oregon lighthouse builders learned an important lesson about sinking your foundations in sand: don’t.

So that’s that bit. For your next lighthouse, I did manage to photograph the whole thing.

Cape Blanco complete with lighthouse entire. You're welcome.

Cape Blanco complete with lighthouse entire. You’re welcome.

Cape Blanco Lighthouse is two mosts: the most westerly lighthouse in Oregon, and the most elderly lighthouse still standing.

We didn’t tour any of these buggers. We will do next time, just for you, my darlings. Why don’t you all have a look at the lighthouses on the Oregon coast and decide amongst yourselves which one we should visit?

Comments

  1. kimbeaux says

    I vote for Coquille and Heceta head because you can tour both, and haven’t been to them yet.

  2. Scr... Archivist says

    Considering the title of this post, I have to ask…

    Is this the kind that’s a light in the darkness of everybody’s life, or the kind that never goes out?

  3. Trebuchet says

    All of them. Why ask? ;)

    Been there, done that! And I’m thinking we need to do it again. Probably the best vacation I’ve ever had.

    For Dana: Cape Blanco is also, as I recall, one of the windiest places I’ve ever been. How was it when you were there?

    And if you get to Umpqua River again, be sure to go in and climb up to the top. It has the most gorgeous old Fresnel lens of any on the coast, with acres of ruby glass. Spectacular.

    Finally, off topic, but since we’re fond of flying dinosaurs in these parts, a link to today’s awesome XKCD:
    http://xkcd.com/1211/

    • Lithified Detritus says

      You really need to visit the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point. They have a double second order Fresnel light 9 feet in diameter. A freaking monster! Unfortunately only on display, not in operation.

  4. Trebuchet says

    Oh, and sometimes you can get away with building your lighthouse on the sand. The Gray’s Harbor Light in Westport, WA, was originally right on the beach but is now around a half mile inland! You’ve just got to choose your sand!

  5. Lithified Detritus says

    Oh, and sometimes you can get away with building your lighthouse on the sand… You’ve just got to choose your sand!

    And, come to think of it, a lighthouse in a place called Sandy Hook is most likely built on, well… sand.

  6. Ulysses says

    Slightly apropos:

    My father was the keeper of the Eddystone Light.
    He slept with a mermaid one fine night
    And out of that union there came three:
    A porpose, a porgy and the other was me.