Saturday, October 17, 2015

Heceta Head Lighthouse & More

The Heceta Head Lighthouse is one of the most photographed lighthouses (in Oregon? The county? The West Coast? America? The World? They didn't qualify).  It was originally opened on 30 March 1894 and was automated in 1963. It is 13 miles north of Florence and 13 miles south of Yachats, Oregon on Hwy 101.

The lighthouse is only 55 feet tall (approx - 17 m) but stands on a mountain making it 250 feet above sea level. We parked in the Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint. A $5 fee per vehicle is required for the day use area; this is waived if you are staying in the State Park.
Assistant Keeper's home from parking lot

 It's a nice .5 mile hike to the lighthouse. The Keeper's house is on the way up. There are 7 miles of trails to hike if desired. We went up the trail enough to get a good vantage point for photos.

College seems to have taken away Arielle's hiking ability

Check out the retro selfie stick
 We stopped and read each info board. Doesn't my baby girl Arielle, look thrilled to be home and in the midst of a homeschooling expedition once again? ::snort::


The views are stunning from this vantage point.

The tour guide was eating lunch, so we toured a few exhibits at the top and grabbed some photos....and waited for our free tour.

The tour was interesting. It was fun for those of us who had recently toured the Grays Harbor Lighthouse to compare notes. Grays Harbor is taller and operated by the Coast Guard. Heceta Head has a bigger lens - first order Fresnel lens and is run by the state parks - no longer an official lighthouse. Grays Harbor's beam can be seen for 6 miles; Heceta Head's for 21 miles.

She insists it was interesting and she paid attention

I was intrigued by the Keeper's Library. Big wooden boxes were filled with 40 books and swapped amongst the various lighthouses on a quarterly basis. This allowed entertainment in isolated places. Library boxes continued to services lighthouses until radio arrived.

 Yes, we used the "retro selfie stick," for some family photos. We don't really trust strangers with Michael's camera and I'd left mine at the Caboose. ::gasp::


F - De'Etta, Krista, Arielle, Stacia
B - Michael, Alex, Nolan
 This is a beautiful lighthouse.

 The assistant Lighthouse keeper's home is now a bed and breakfast.  We think we could happily have lived as lighthouse keepers.

Our next stop was Old Town Florence.  A trip to Florence must ALWAYS include a trip to Mo's. We had a window table and enjoyed visiting while we watched harbor seals.

We walked along the harbor...this boat caught my fancy....
This one caught Michael's. It was a good size....bedrooms et al. I finally told Michael I would not be o.k. moving onto a boat...not with my stomach.  ::grin::

We rounded out the day with naps, sand dunes and roaring campfires.