Sunday, October 9, 2011

Yaquina Head

This is the last post of our summer vacation - I promise! Maybe it's just me, but it seems like our summer was just too full this year. The last little destination I wanted to write about was the Yaquina Head lighthouse in Newport, OR.

We actually went to the lighthouse twice during the summer, and still don't have a good picture (camera problems the first trip, low visibility the second trip - plenty of pics at Wikipedia, if you're interested). It's a wonderful 160-year-old lighthouse dropping off to cliffs on three sides. Very picturesque, but I'm glad I never had to live there!

One of the locations on the tour was the oil room, which stores 400 gallons of oil. The oil used to be carried up the stairs in two gallons pitchers like the one Jordan is holding above. The pitcher is weighted to show how much that much oil would weigh...Jordan's reaction is real (I think it's 30 pounds).

The last part of the tour was climbing up the spiral staircase. For a minute or two, it felt like I was in Hitchcock's Vertigo. The boys climbed it with ease and proudly displayed their "I climbed Yaquina Head Lighthouse" buttons. I'm sure the view would be great from the top...but I only saw fog. Boo.

One of the most interesting parts about the lighthouse is that there are large rocks just a few hundred feet out in the ocean that are completely filled with thousands of birds. We saw puffins, pelicans, penguins, etc. The largest rock is called Migration Rock.

Unfortunately, this picture doesn't come close to showing how many birds there were. Apparently there was an unprecedented decline in the bird population just two days before we went to the lighthouse for the second time. It was such a dramatic and unforeseen change, that there were observers from the local University while we were there. There is still one way to tell how many birds are USUALLY there - let's just say that the rock is not natively white.


  1. Actually, I think the lighthouse picture looks really cool with the fog surrounding it. And I LOVE the look on Jordans's face! Priceless!