As you have probably guessed, I LOVE lighthouses. I'm so glad the State Parks have taken over most of them, kept them in good condition and kept the lights shining on. Too bad the Lighthouse Keepers houses didn't get picked up by the program. Most, if not all, are now privately owned, meaning you can't go in unless you want to pay big bucks and spend the night.
Just North of Florence is Heceta Head Lighthouse in one of the most beautiful locations around. Stop on the way up at one of the parking areas for this picture.
This is another fee area and although I didn't see it on ANY of the signs, you apparently CAN use your National Parks Senior Pass. Bring your lunch because there's a beautiful beach with picnic tables for your use. I could stay here all day.
The path to the lighthouse is on the North side of the parking lot. Although uphill, it's not a bad hike at all and the views are pretty amazing. You'll come to a split in the trail, where you'll see the Lighthouse Keepers residence on the right. It's a beauty, for sure!
As you walk around, you can see the lighthouse through the railing. It's always so interesting to me how in the old days, they made houses look so inviting and beautiful. Nowadays, not so much.
At long last, you arrive at the lighthouse itself. It has been restored beautifully. The surrounding cliffs and chain link fence make it a little difficult to get it all in one shot. After checking all the posts for stability, I had to lean back over the fence to get a good picture. If you come early enough, they have tours to the top, something you shouldn't miss.
I was here VERY early ... I think it was about 8:00 when I began the climb up the mountain trail. You know, the one with the sign that said BEWARE -- BEARS!! Especially with all the fires and smoke inland, many have migrated this direction. Keeping an eye out and my nose to the wind (you can usually smell a bear before you can see him) I climbed out on the cliff to get this shot. I LOVE photography!!
A little further up and out .... actually I had to scramble over some logs (past the Do Not Enter sign, but don't tell anyone) to the very edge where I became a tree hugger in order to get this picture. Tree hugging is good if it keeps you from falling to your death!!
I stood up there for over 30 minutes as I watched people ohh and aww. They should have been where "I" was ... the view was spectacular!!
Back to where the trail splits, there was a geocache. Even though I loaded the few I wanted to find on my phone before leaving the rig, it apparently didn't work. I did however, find the remnants of a trail, and when no one was looking, I bushwhacked down this embankment towards the cliff's edge.
There is a wooden rail fence about half way down to keep you from falling off the cliff where you can view the water crashing in beneath the lighthouse.
Go even further down the trail, although narrow and getting steeper and you will come to THIS view. None of this is visible from anywhere else. Although I could have kept going out to the very tip of the cliff, I thought better of it. I never did find the cache, but I'm sure it's here. I'll just have to give it another shot.
On the way back down the hill, the fog began to roll in in earnest. This would have made a great picture of the Keepers House, but it's barely visible. The white you DO see is a big tent, probably set up for a wedding.
Down on the beach, the tide was just beginning to come in. I watched in awe as the waves got bigger and bigger throwing water higher and higher into the air. It sounded like thunder!!
Back along the highway, I stopped in at the exact same spot as the first picture. In two hours, the lighthouse was completely obliterated by the fog.
It rained like crazy yesterday and last night. In fact, you know that horrible warning noise you hear on the radio ... BEEP BEEP BEEP. It actually happened for real here. It was a warning about golf ball sized hail in the Portland Oregon area. The good news is it helped with some of the fires. I've also seen pictures of Multnomah Falls that show it only scorched around the edges. They were able to save most of the trees.
Looks like we're in for more rain this morning, so I better get packing!!