TRIP OF A LIFETIME III travel blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


It was cold(51) and windy as we drove to Bandon Beach. The clouds rolled in giant puffs in the grey skies. The Coquille Lighthouse sat prominently on the shore standing guard over the breakwater rocks lining the entrance to the Coquille River. The surf pounded the rocks about the lighthouse in a glorious spray of seawater. It was a romantic and gorgeous sight. The lighthouse was built in 1896 and is but 46 feet high and only 7 feet above sea level. It was the last lighthouse to be built in Oregon. We walked about and took several photos. Coquille lighthouse is one of several surviving Oregon lighthouses and marks Oregon's rich link to its maritime heritage. They are beautiful monuments of the past and played prominent roles in coastal navigation. They each emitted their own unique sound and light so that the sailors could tell where they were.Kerosene powered the light which was reflected deep into the night by the Fresnel lens ( a precision ground giant glass lens weighing tons and used to magnify the light many times over. The keeper had to constantly clean the glass windows of the black soot from the kerosene and stoke the fire with charcoal in the house below so the steam could power the massive horn blasts. The warning blast would occur every 30 seconds in dense fog. Today, a small dome on the south breakwater wall emits the familiar mournful fog horn sound. We then walked 4 miles on Bandon beach among the giant "haystack rocks" It was high tide and the wind blew constantly at 20-25 mph. The sand whipped by our legs creating an erie feeling of fog. The sun slowly broke through the grey sky and sparkled on the towering granite monoliths. We could see animals and forms in each. One looked like an elephant. The seabirds circled the air currents above the rocks as they fed their young. We could walk right up to the sides of some of these massive rocks which rose up to several hundred feet in the air. They are filled with massive clusters of mollusks and myriad sea life at the bases. There are massive holes worn into some of the rocks by the relentless pounding of the surf. Flotsam logs are piled haphazardly upon the beaches. When the tide comes in the surf sprays and pounds in spectacular display. The power and intensity of this ocean permeate your senses to the core. It is less than a few miles offshore that the tectonic plates of the earth meet. When these plates shift, the resulting quake pushes massive walls of water known as Tsunamis ashore. Oregon has had many of these and signs are posted everywhere to seek high ground whenever the earth shakes-"head for the hills!!" We of course ended the day with more fabulous seafood dishes at the restaurant by the sea called The Wheelhouse. I had seafood masticelli, Bill had seared scallops,Barb had grilled halibut. We then visited the Cranberry Sweet--where many delicacies of cranberries and chocolate are made and gorged ourselves with the free samples. Bill purchased a special work of art-a hand carved soapstone Eskimo spearing a whale. It was very spectacular. Barb and Nancy shopped till they dropped. A good time was had by all. I slept soundly as Nancy drove the 20 miles home to Lucky Logger in Coos Bay.



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