Sunday, October 11, 2015

A Walk on the Beach

It is  usually cold, windy and/or raining along the Washington/Oregon/Northern California coastline. This is a truth we know well. We headed to the beach, after our lighthouse tour, armed with kites and sweatshirts.

Amazing! It was WARM. There was no wind at all. We walked and walked along the beach. First one way, and then the other, to the jetty. I logged 7 miles....the others were sure to be somewhere between 5 - 7 miles. I was devoted to WALKING, some were devoted to splashing, looking, collecting and learning.

Someone carved a "Raging Bull" out of driftwood....we thought the head looked a bit more like a horse than a bull, but we were enchanted.
Stacia and Nolan found quite a few sand dollars.

We walked up the beach to the jetty in time to enjoy a gorgeous sunset.

Unfortunately, "someone" needed to find a restroom as the sun dipped below the horizon. She and I headed off - Michael grabbed some great shots.

Meanwhile, we discovered a restroom - but we were a good mile away from where we thought we'd be. I was glad when Nolan found us and walked back to the start of the trail with us. The lighthouse came in handy as we KNEW we were under the lighthouse when we began. We waited at the trailhead for Alex and Michael to meet up with us.
It was a glorious day on the Washington Coast.

Grays Harbor (Westport) Lighthouse

It was raining when we arrived in Westport, WA. The lighthouse keeper told us to come see him whenever the weather broke and he'd take us to the top of the Grays Harbor Lighthouse. Public Tours are scheduled at this time of the year Friday - Sunday from 1200 - 1600. You must be 40 inches tall to climb and the price is $5. Unless you are military and then it is FREE.

We joined the last tour of the day at 1530. The tour was over at 1600. Lowell asked if we had any other questions after the others began their climb down. We spent another 30 min at the top enjoying the view, and asking all our questions. We love family tours.

The Grays Harbor Lighthouse stands 107 feet tall, and is the tallest lighthouse in Washington state. It is the 3rd tallest along the West Coast.

The lighthouse began service the night of June 30, 1898 and is still operational. It is currently maintained by the US Coast Guard. It was originally 300 feet from the ocean. In the 1900's a jetty system was built in the harbor and it is now about 3,000 feet from the high tide mark.  This was one of our questions. There is a concrete pad in our camping spot. It was the original site of the fog horn.

There are 135 steps  leading up to the lantern room. The staircase is original and forged of cast-iron. The steps reminded us of staircases in Japan - specifically the Golden Buddha in Sendai - though we took the elevator to the top of THAT and looked down. LOL
Stacia was reluctant to climb but didn't want to miss it either
The lighthouse still houses the original 3rd order clamshell-shaped Fresnel lens. This lens was built in Paris - and it's inventor died of TB before he could see how well the lens was to work.

Tiny bulb - big lens

Today, this electronic beacon has been installed.
The flash patter of the lens was, and is, red and white and marks the opening to Grays Harbor. Navigators today rely on GPS systems etc but lighthouses provide an important secondary back-up system for navigation.
The 360* view of the ocean was spectacular. On a very clear day you can see the top of Mount Rainier to the east.

Grays Harbor Lighthouse was considered by Carl Leick, its architect, to be his masterpiece. Lowell said to look for this tile pattern in other lighthouses to glimpse other lighthouses Carl Leick designed.
You can view more photos of the lighthouse at the Westport Maritime Museum's website.

"A Fun Day in Every Way"

As Stacia reports, "Today was fun in EVERY  way."

We joined the congregants at New Beginning Community Fellowship, an Open Bible Church, for worship in Aberdeen, WA this morning. We were reminded God is concerned most about our hearts and before we can fulfill a vision to set captives free, bind up broken hearts, and heal the blind we must first be liberated and healed ourselves. Attending church allowed us to connect with Tim, another friend from college. We were also able to see Matt and Brenna (Tim and Julie's children) all grown up and to meet Rosemary and Brett, their spouses.
Stacia loved children's church. She is interested in their new series, "How to read and Understand the Bible," and wonders if we can't stay in the area a few weeks longer.

We had lunch at Mazatlan, a Mexican eatery with four vegetarian items on the menu. I loved my vegetarian burrito - different than any I've been served before. It was filled with veggies and topped with a veggie sauce.  Mostly, I loved playing with Ava!
The sun broke through today. We hurried back to the campground so we could tour Grays Harbor Lighthouse (Westport Lighthouse).  The tour was fantastic and afterwards we headed down to the Westport Lighthouse Trail and walked along the beach for about 6 miles.  (I'll write separate posts for those sights).

Sunday nights mean ice cream for this tribe. I don't have room for ice cream in the freezer. This has been solved with trips to Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt "buffets," trips to Dairy Queen and boxes of ice cream bars. Tonight there were Magnum bars - and all were satisfied.
Yes, today was fun in every way  - other than the Seahawks losing a game by 2 inches.  I didn't take my camera into church or lunch - so no photos.