TRIP OF A LIFETIME III travel blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Haceta Head Lighthouse is one of the most photogenic areas on the Oregon Coast. It is located about 100 feet up a 205 foot headland-an outcropping into the Pacific. We hiked to the lighthouse through an enchanted forest that was about 2.5 miles away from where we parked . It was a magical trail that wound through a forest of mature Sitka Spruce. The trees are shaped by the strong and relentless prevailing coastal winds. The shapes are mythical and right out of the Hobbits books. The forest was buried in coastal mist as we hiked the trail. We passed through areas of thick foliage dominated by ferns and other shrubs. The dew poured upon us from the trees and the path was wet and muddy. The strong smell of spruce pervaded the air. One could hear the pounding Pacific surf somewhere in the fog below. We ascended and descended steep slopes and suddenly came upon the lighthouse buried in the coastal fog not more than a 100 feet away. The light flashed strongly in our eyes. We took many pictures of the lighthouse and descended to the lightkeeper's house below which is now a bed and breakfast. Bill announced he was off to Bird Rock and disappeared. We did not pay attention and instead walked back up to the lighthouse and took the tour-Bill was in absentia-when we finished we walked out to a litany of squawking akin to Donald Duck. We had failed to follow his directions and left him stranded at adjacent Bird Rock a hundred feet below us. He named us the three stooges and asked the hosts if they had seen three people stumbling around with hiking poles in the general area. Of course! They knew immediately who he was referring to. Well, we were severely chastised and stripped of our hiking credentials-we are always to return to the last spot where we saw each other-a very wise rule in wilderness travel. We sheepishly admitted our guilt . The lighthouse was built in 1894 on this rocky headland and the 4000 pound Fresnel glass lens was brought in by a surf row boat and hoisted into the lighthouse tower. An intricate clock like mechanism rotated the light every night. A giant lead weight powered the mechanism as in a grandfather’s clock.A spiral iron staircase ascends the inner tower. The outer walls are two feet thick concrete. The inner wall is brick. This supports the tower against the elements. One can imagine the scene of the nights of 80+mile an hour winds tending the navigational light. Now we know why coffee plays such a prominent Role in the Northwest! We then walked to Bird Rock wher e the giant granite monolith stands as a barrier to the pounding Pacific. Many birds nest atop the rock especially the cute Common Muirs. They seem to thrive in the cacophony. We proceded to the beach and sat on a log as we fed the seagulls. We walked beneath the giant trusses of the bridge of highway 101 above. It is an engineering marvel as well as a work of art.We then retraced our route back to our car. We traveled 5.2 miles and 1150 vertical feet. We next drove ten miles north to Cape Perpetua. There we walked about a ¼ mile down to the the base of the giant chasm in the rocks known as Devil’s Churn. It is so named because the Pacific relentlessly pounds the rocks and emits giant spray as it sculpts the rocks. One can feel the thunder of the surf in the rocks as he walks upon them. What a majestic display of the power of Nature. We drove back to Newport for a late lunch at Local Oceans. The fish here is right off the adjacent boats. We had wild salmon,tuna mignon,and fish tacos as well as Dungeness crab chowder. What a taste treat! Every day in paradise is a new surprise.



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