18 November 2005

Umpqua River and Cape Arago Lighthouses

On the 9th we drove about 10 min north of where we are staying to see the Umpqua River Lighthouse at Winchester Bay. I’ve noticed that a lot of the Oregon Lighthouses have a similar structure and some of them look exactly the same. An earlier structure, commissioned on the north spit of the river in 1857, was the first lighthouse sited on the Oregon coast. It fell into the river in 1861 due to sand erosion. The current structure has a 65-foot tower and sits 165 feet above sea level. It is identical to the Heceta Head Lighthouse and was also illuminated in 1894. The lens emits red and white automated flashes.

On the 12th we drove the Cape Arago highway and stopped at a lookout that you can view the Cape Arago Lighthouse from. This lighthouse isn’t open to the public, so you can’t get very close. This lighthouse stands 100 feet above the ocean on an islet just off Geoffrey Point, and is equipped with a 44-foot tower illuminated in 1934. It’s the newest in terms of service, earlier structures were built on this site in 1866 and 1908, both succumbing to weather and erosion. This lighthouse also has a unique foghorn.

The ocean was rough this day and there was a lot of sea spray in the air. We sat and just watched the waves crash on the cliff, over and over again the waves would crash higher than the cliff. It was really something to see and hear. Just after you’d see the wave crash, you’d hear it.

Stay tuned for more lighthouses.