Friday, November 26, 2010
Yaquina Head Lighthouse, Newport Oregon
This first photo shows the lighthouse standing on a rise of land. It is a beautiful example of a traditional lighthouse and is now in the US National Park system although it is also a functioning lighthouse that is used for navigating ships at sea.
Here Pat is walking up to the lighthouse, which is 93 feet tall. The light source itself is 162 feet above sea level as the site is on a cliff well above sea level. These combine to make the light visible for about 19 miles to sea. The weather on the day we visited was perfect, sunny but not too warm and with these exciting cloud formations to keep the sky interesting.
As a part of the park system there are good signs displayed around the site. I hope you can read this but if not, click on it and you should be taken to my Flickr site where the photo is hosted and you can see it in a larger size. There is quite a bit of information available on this one sign.
This view is looking to the north from one of the windows as I was climbing the stairs. I don't remember how many steps there are but it is a pretty good climb, at least for an old guy like me. There is a photo later in this set looking down those stairs.
When you do reach the top you can only go as far as the top step. They limit that top step to one person at a time or two if one is a child. This is a working lighthouse and a necessary part of the coastal navigation system and there are things on that top floor that can be damaged. The view here is looking to the southwest.
Here is the source of the light. I am sure that when it was built in 1872 the light source was a flame of some sort but it is now electric. Notice that there are two bulbs but only one is lighting. I guess the extra is for an instantly available backup should the primary one burn out. The light is bright but not hard on the eyes although I doubt that you would want to look into it too long. The lens system that surrounds the light makes it focused and more intense outside the lighthouse. The lighthouse originally had Coast Guard attendants but it was automated in 1966.
The view from the top looking to the north. At the far right side of the photo you can see a car parked in the lot below and it looks pretty small from up here! One thing that I am not sure of is how the glass is kept clean. It had no noticeable salt spray or other things on it, even thought there are seagulls around. Maybe the wind and rain take care of that cleaning.
And here is a view looking to the south. There is a fairly large motorhome parked below in the lot. The road you see is the one visitors approach the lighthouse on. This Oregon Coast is a very beautiful area with a dramatic coastline. Here it is pretty rocky but there are also many very nice sandy beaches.
This is the stairs that wind around the inside of the lighthouse from the base to the top. It is just possible to see the floor at the bottom, way down there. There are good handrails to help but it is a fairly strenuous climb and the steps are narrow so it wouldn't be a good idea to attempt the climb if you are not sure that you can complete the trip up and BACK DOWN. But once you reach the top, it is sure worth the effort.
This is just another of the many things that we saw and did while on our trip. We spent a week down there, four days in the Depoe Bay/Newport area and could easily have spent a lot longer. If you have the chance to go, do so.