Published: September 30th 2007September 28th 2007
Here they are...patrolling our coasts.
All of us went to the lighthouses today. They had predicted rain, but apparently they’re not any better at predicting weather in Washington than they are in Montana, because it was sunny and warm~~perfect weather for touring. The first lighthouse we went to was at Cape Disappointment~~the Cape was named by a British fur trader after his inability to locate the river's mouth. This coast is especially hazardous because of all the sandbars, and undertows. The ocean is very powerful along the coast between the mouth of the Columbia and the tip of the peninsula, which is almost entirely rock. The sand in the water shifts so rapidly that the maps weren't able to inform the ship captains of the sandbars. There have been over 2000 recorded shipwrecks. (One was only three weeks ago. A sardine fishing ship was pumping in water to keep the fish cool and the pump quit, filling the ship to the sinking point. The captain and his wife drowned, but the three crewmembers got to the shore safely. We saw something about it on MSN, but didn’t read it carefully enough to know it was here. We didn’t hear one word about it in this area.
A view of the lighthouse as you approach. I know that was a silly statment, but these lighthouses can't be seen from very far down the walking paths, so all of a sudden they just seem to appear. The little building in front is where the supplies were kept, and where the keepers did their maintanence.
We learned of it today, from the lighthouse tour guide.) The Cape Disappointment Lighthouse was built with the expectation that it would be seen from the river, as well as the ocean. Tourists aren't allowed inside this lighthouses.
The second one is named North Head Lighthouse, and stands 65’ tall. It was built in 1898, when the Coast Guard realized the ships coming from the north couldn’t see the Cape Disappointment lighthouse. We were allowed to climb to the top of this one, and see scenery that was so beautiful that I can't even begin to describe it. It’s a very rocky area, with such angry waves hitting rocky cliffs.
There is always a dredge at the Columbia River Bar, dredging 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just to keep the water open.
I don’t really have a picture of this lighthouse. It isn’t painted the pretty striped colors that Cape D is. Both of them are still operational for guiding ships, as well as weather forecasting.
I can see how people get hooked on lighthouses. They have such interesting histories, as well as the incredible views.
There are more photos below