Forty-second Lighthouse Expedition
September 26, thru October 4, 2003
Pacific Northwest with the United States Lighthouse Society
September 26, 2003, Friday
- 5:25 am (EDST)
- Left home. (Boy, this is early!)
- 6:00 am
- Arrived at the car park at Bishop Airport in Flint, MI. We arrived at the airport in plenty of time but with the security measures one just never knows what to expect.
- 7:35 am
- We flew Northwest. The plane left the gate right on time and took off at 7:40.
- 8:00 am (CDST)
- Arrived at the airport in Minneapolis. We landed at one end of the airport and our next flight was at the opposite end. We walked FAST.
- 9:00 am
- We boarded our plane on time, but were delayed 40 min. while they replaced a cargo net.
- 10:10 am
- The plane took off. I love sitting by the window and I was not disappointed. Most of the trip was clear and I enjoyed the view. Don on the other hand, prefers the aisle seat. We were fortunate to have the middle seat empty!
- 11:25 (PDST)
- The plane landed in Portland, OR. It was a thrill to see Mt. Hood just before we landed.
- 12:00 Noon
- We claimed our luggage and called for the hotel shuttle which arrived very promptly.
- 12:20 pm
- We arrived at the Hampton Inn - Portland Airport. Diana caught a quick nap.
- 2:30 pm
- Dave Snyder, from the United States Lighthouse Society called to say he had a van and was ready to take the early arrivals on a tour of Portland. Lori and Bruce Yates, Lynn and Tom Baumgarten, Mary Zajac and Mary Wheeler joined us. We dropped Lynn and Tom off near the Williamete Weekly Newspaper office to meet their son, Mark who moved to Portland in July. The rest of us had a tour of the Industrial Area (what was Dave thinking?) and then eventually found the Rejuvenation Station - a store that sells "house parts" (more interesting than it sounds) and then onto Powell's Book Store, the largest independent book store in the country. Who should we find there but Tom, Lynn and Mark!
- 5:30 pm
- We went to Laslows Northwest Cuisine on Kearney St. and enjoyed a wonderful meal.
- 8:30 pm
- Back to the Hampton. We had an informal get together at the hotel to meet most of the rest of the people on the tour. It was fun to meet Chuck and Betty Olson, who mentioned that they have read Diana's journals from some of our previous trips, and have even used them to plan some of their own lighthouse vacations. They also mentioned that they like to stop at Dairy Queens too! We finally got to bed after being up for 20 hours!
September 27, 2003, Saturday
- 7:00 am
- We had a great breakfast at the Hampton Inn and packed up to leave on the tour with the USLHS.
- 7:55 am
- Everyone was on the bus with our driver, Gordon Jannsen, right on time. Touring with us: Jerry and Donna Adrian from WI, Tom and Lynn Baumgarten from WI, Tom and Barb Block from IL, Patrick and Jan Bradley from CA, Joan Cohan and her daughter, Colleen, from NJ, Mike and Sue Fisher from FL, Dick Johnson from MA, Ray and Susan Knight from SC, Margaret Miner from WA, Bill and Judy Newblom from CO, Chuck and Betty Olson from FL, Tony and Alma Pasek from VA, Clarice Powers from CA, John and Mary Rycakowski from NV, Bill and Karlene Seeley from CA, Doug and Leigh Shuck from MD, Suzanne Thomas from IL, Linda Tisdale from WA, Jerry and Joan Warner from IL, Jerry Waters and Marie Vincent from VA, Kathy Whitlock from WA, Bruce and Lori Yates from WI, Mary Zajac from WI and our leader, Dave Snyder from CA. It was a nice clear day and we could see Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and the Cascade Mountains as we traveled along the Columbia River (the second largest river in the US).
- 9:35 am
- We had a 20 minute rest stop.
- 10:30 am
- We arrived in Astoria, OR and crossed over the bridge.
- 10:45 am
- OR/WA state line. Our first view of the Pacific Ocean.
- 11:05 am
- Our first lighthouse - Cape Disappointment in the Ft. Canby State Park in WA. There was a very steep climb to the lighthouse. The lighthouse was started in 1853 and finished in 1856 and had a first-order Fresnel lens. This light is the oldest in WA. There were ham radio operators on duty and since my brother is a "ham", I stopped by to chat. The Coast Guard opened the light for us and we were able to climb the tower. John Naputi and his wife, Tina were our hosts. We left at 12:20.
- 12:25 pm
- Just a short drive to the North Head Lighthouse which was built in 1898 and sits on a cliff 190 feet above sea level. The original lens here was a first-order and was replaced by a fourth-order Fresnel lens in 1937. Our box lunches were provided by the Cottage Bakery and Deli in Long Beach, WA and we picked them up as we left the bus. It was a short walk to the light and we ate our excellent lunch on the grounds around the tower. We were told that this is the third windiest spot in the US. However when we arrived, there was hardly a breeze! John and Tina were there with us and volunteers, Mr. and Mrs. McInnis, allowed us to climb the tower. Cape Disappointment and North Head Lighthouses are both functional and are operated by the US Coast Guard. The wind changed direction and as we left it became quite breezy. We left at 1:55.
- 2:15 pm
- Our short stay in WA was over as we crossed back over the bridge and arrived back in OR. We went to the town of Astoria which is the longest continuous settlement in the northwest. Lewis and Clark wintered here in 1805-06.
- 2:25 pm
- We arrived at the Columbia River Maritime Museum and the port for the Lightship Columbia. We had the opportunity to tour the museum and see displays for the Coast Guard, salmon fishing, and lighthouse artifacts. Some of the group, including Don, also toured the lightship. We left at 3:35.
- 3:40 pm
- We arrived at the Astoria Column. It is the only monument of it's kind in the world. The unique pictorial frieze which scrolls around it illustrates important events in the history of Astoria, OR. It stands 125 feet at an elevation of 600 feet on Coxcomb Hill. Diana climbed the 164 steps to the top. The view was fabulous!!! It was dedicated in 1926 and restored in 1936 and 1995. There is a little gift shop where they sell little wooden airplanes which people like to fly once they get to the top of the column. We left at 4:10.
- 4:30 pm
- We arrived at the Ebb Tide Motel in Seaside, OR. We had a wonderful view of the ocean from our balcony. We quickly put our things in our room and walked down to the beach. We were delighted to find sand castles from a competition the weekend before. These were very large and detailed. It would have been fun to have seen the artists at work. We saw Dave in the area and we walked into town with him along Broadway street and then back to the hotel along the boardwalk. The fog was coming in and the temperature was dropping as the sun was going down.
- 6:30 pm
- Our dinner that night was a picnic on the beach. The Salvatore Restaurant from the Best Western Hotel set the tables right on the sandy beach with tablecloths and cloth napkins. As we sat down, our chairs sank down into the sand. We had a wonderful buffet dinner with prime rib and crab cakes but as the wind started to blow and the temperature kept dropping the idea of a picnic was less appealing. Most people bundled up including putting up their hoods! It was a quick dinner for most of us! Joining the group for dinner were Jean and Al Krueger, Society members who have traveled previously with Dave and live in Seaside.
- 7:45 pm
- We met in Bruce and Lori Yates' room to play TIC (card game, now a tradition on these trips) along with Lynn, Tom and Dave. Jean and Al watched and we enjoyed visiting with them.
- 10:00 pm
- We finally called it quits before the game was over as we were all so tired! More lighthouses tomorrow and we must be ready!
September 28, 2003, Sunday
- 7:00 am
- Our breakfast was next door at the Best Western Hotel.
- 8:10 am
- All on board the bus and we left Seaside, OR.
- 8:45 am
- We arrived in Cannon Beach. We walked to a railing at the end of a street where we could barely see Tillamook Rock Lighthouse offshore. It was very foggy and unfortunately we knew the pictures would be disappointing. Left at 8:55.
- 9:45 am
- We stopped in the town of Tillamook at the cheese factory. We tasted cheese, bought gifts and got ice cream. Left at 10:25.
- 10:50 am
- We arrived at the Cape Meares Lighthouse located at the Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint and National Wildlife Refuge which became Oregon's "Cape Disappointment" for us! We were delighted they were in the process of renovation. However, seeing the light in "bubble wrap" was not what we'd hoped for. We were met by the Friends of Cape Meares volunteers and welcomed by Alicia Knowlton, the gift shop manager. Bob Reed took Dave Snyder and Don inside the "wrap" so Dave could see the work in progress and Don could get pictures. They brought the gift shop to us in the trunks of their cars and were very accommodating. A short walk from the parking lot is the famous Octopus tree which was worth the walk and a picture. Cape Meares is a beautiful spot. Guess we will just have to come back when the renovation is complete. Left at 11:55.
- 1:55 pm
- We arrived a the Agate Beach Wayside Park for our delicious box lunches from the Canyon Way Deli in Newport. Before leaving, we walked through the tunnel under the road to see the beach. Left at 2:40.
- 2:50 pm
- We arrived at Yaquina Head Lighthouse located in Newport, OR and built in 1873. It's the tallest light on the Oregon coast. We climbed the tower - 120 steps. The volunteer at the top of the tower was Charlie from KY who was volunteering for a month. Harbor seals and whales were in the waters off the shore from the point. It has a working first-order Fresnel lens. We also went to the interpretive center to see displays and visit the gift shop. Left at 4:05.
- 4:15 pm
- Arrived at Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, the first light built in Newport in 1874. The beautifully restored house with the light tower in the middle sits high on a cliff. There is an excellent museum and a gift shop at this location. Left at 5:00.
- 5:20 pm
- We arrived at the Inn at Otter Crest. This inn was built on the side of a cliff in four tiers. We were on the third tier and had a beautiful view with the Yaquina Head Lighthouse off in the distance. There was a tram which took us to the main level for dinner at the Flying Dutchman Restaurant at 6:30. After dinner Dave held a drawing for two Harbor Lights lighthouse replicas. Bruce and Lori Yates won the first one and Bill and Karlene Seeley won the second. Next came the drawing for the gently used lighthouse items. Diana's name was finally called and she got to choose the second from the last "prize." Actually it wasn't all that bad, it was a lovely lighthouse sun catcher.
- 8:00 pm
- We taught the card game TIC to two new players: Dick Johnson and Colleen Cohan. They came in first and second! Bruce, Lori, Dave, Don and Diana are convinced there IS such a thing as beginners luck!
September 29, 2003, Monday
- 7:00 am
- Once again we took the tram down the cliff for breakfast in the Flying Dutchman Restaurant.
- 8:15 am
- The bus left the Inn at Otter Crest. We passed the Cleft in the Rock Lighthouse which is privately owned by John Gibbs. There was no place to stop the bus for a photo op.
- 9:05 am
- We stopped at the Devil's Churn overlook for a rest stop and left at 9:25.
- 9:40 am
- We arrived in the parking lot of the Heceta Head Lighthouse, built in 1894, and started our long walk up the hill to the tower. Debbie Bender met us and took small groups up the tower (68 steps.) From the tower level, we climbed further up the hill to get additional pictures. The double assistant keeper's house is now a Bed and Breakfast. The house has been beautifully renovated. We left at 11:30.
- 12:35 pm
- When we arrived at the Umpqua River Lighthouse we were divided into four groups to tour the tower, museum and have lunch. Don and I were in the first group to have lunch provided by the Harbor Lights Restaurant in Reedsport, OR. In front of the lighthouse is 9 miles of sand and a dune buggy area. A 25' tsunami hit in front of the lighthouse the week before as a result of the earthquake in Japan. Ken Compton, dressed in his lighthouse keeper's uniform, gave our group the tour of the light tower. The tower was built in 1894. This location was the site of Oregon's first lighthouse. That structure fell into the river when sand eroded the foundation in 1861 just three years after it was built. Left at 2:15.
- 3:50 pm
- We arrived at the Cape Blanco Lighthouse. Volunteers Milt and Shirley Nelson gave us a tour of the tower and opened the gift shop which is usually closed on Mondays. This light was built in 1870 and is the most southern on the Oregon coast. The renovations here were just completed. Our excitement here was a fall by Clarice Powers when she missed a step going out of the workroom attached to the tower. A couple who happened to "join" the tour, Kathy Hiltbruner and Pat Castle came to the rescue. Pat hiked the very long way back up the hill to get ice for Clarice's head. John Ryczkowski, who's had emergency training, determined she was not seriously injured. By the time we left at 5:15, Clarice was walking under her own power, although a little sore.
- 5:55 pm
- We arrived at the Harbor View Motel in Bandon, OR. We could see the Coquille River Lighthouse from our balcony.
- 6:50 pm
- We had a short drive to Lord Bennett's Restaurant for a wonderful dinner. Don had steak and Diana had nut crusted halibut. We left at 9:00 and went back to the motel. No TIC that night. We were tired!
September 30, 2003, Tuesday
- 7:10 am
- We left the Harbor View Motel in Bandon and went to a nearby restaurant, "The Station" for a wonderful breakfast. The service was fantastic and we were all served very quickly. Left at 8:20.
- 8:30 am
- From the restaurant it was a short drive to the Coquille River Lighthouse. (We were heading back north again.) The lighthouse is located in the Bullards Beach State Park. It was very foggy when we arrived, but it cleared off quickly so we were able to get pictures with and without fog! This light was built in 1896. While several of the lighthouses along the Oregon coast are of the same architecture, the Coquille River Light is a different style. We were able to climb the 29 steps to the lantern room. However, there is no longer a lens here. Volunteers opened the light and the gift shop for us. We left at 9:25.
- 10:05 am
- We arrived at the street leading to the Cape Arago Lighthouse. Coast Guardsmen, Evan Meyers and Pat Logan met us at the gate. We took the short path through the woods and the lighthouse was off in the distance in the fog. There was a foot bridge (a rather rickety wooden structure) leading to the lighthouse, and only 10 people were allowed on it at a time. We took pictures from that distance and waited our turn to cross the bridge. The fog eventually lifted there, too. This is the lighthouse we chose for our group photo. When we crossed back over the bridge, we noticed a monument in the shape of an eagle which marks the spot of an Indian burial ground. As we got back through the gate, Jill Kearns, who lives on the road to the lighthouse, let the group go through her breezeway and onto her front deck to view the light. She has one room she rents out as a Bed and Breakfast. Whether or not you are a lighthouse lover, her view is fantastic. You can reach her at 541-888-8386. We left at 11:25.
- 12:10 pm
- Arrived back at the Umpqua River Lighthouse for a wonderful grilled salmon lunch. We were treated royally by the volunteers and staff. Lots of time was spent in their wonderful gift shop. We left at 1:50.
- 2:05 pm
- We spotted elk in the fields while traveling on the Umpqua River Rd.
- 3:15 pm
- We stopped at a Dairy Queen in Cottage Grove, our first ever on a Society tour. (Someone has been reading our journals!) Left at 3:55.
- 6:50 pm
- We encountered lots of traffic and it was slow going, often bumper to bumper, traveling back to Portland. We arrived at the airport to drop off Mary Wheeler and Mike and Susan Fisher to catch their flights. Don, Tom and Bruce were also dropped off there to pick up rental cars.
- 7:05 pm
- Arrived back at the Hampton Inn - Portland Airport. Don arrived shortly after picking up our rental car. The tour is officially over and everyone will be either heading home or touring various areas of Oregon as they continue their vacations.
- 8:00 pm
- We walked next door to the Sheraton Inn for dinner with Lori and Bruce, Linda Tisdale, Dave Snyder, Dick Johnson, Bill and Karlene Seeley and Ray and Susan Knight.
- 10:00 pm
- We played TIC with Bruce, Lori, Dave, and Dick Johnson. Lori won.
This ends the lighthouse portion of the trip.
October 1, 2002, Wednesday
- 9:50 am
- We left the Hampton Inn - Portland Airport.
- 11:00 am
- We stopped at the Mt. Hood Visitor's Center and got some information for the Mt. Hood area. Before we left, Lori and Bruce came in. They also wanted to go to the Timberline Lodge, so we followed each other there. Left the Visitor's Center at 11:20. The road leading to the Timberline Lodge was beautiful. We stopped along the way to take pictures.
- 11:50 am
- Arrived at the Timberline Lodge, a National Historic Landmark, on Mt. Hood. The lodge was built in 1937 with mammoth timbers and native stone. This would be a skiers paradise. We commented on the lack of snow on the mountain top and we were told that it was unusually bare this year. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. We had lunch with Lori and Bruce in the lodge dining room and afterwards headed back down the mountain.
- 2:35 pm
- We arrived at the General Store in the camp ground of the Lost Lake Lodge in the US National Forest on the north side of Mt. Hood. The view of the mountain with the lake in the foreground was beautiful. Bruce and Lori arrived shortly after we did and we enjoyed the peaceful mountain scene. We left at 3:35 and headed toward Hood River. We stopped in Parkdale for ice cream , Drapers Orchard for some fruit and Panorama Point for some scenery. As we were driving along we could see Mt. Adams in Washington State.
- 6:25 pm
- Arrived at the Best Western Hood River Inn in the town of Hood River, OR. It is located right on the beautiful Columbia River in the gorge area.
- 7:00 pm
- We went to the 6th Street Bistro for dinner with Dave, Eric, Bruce and Lori, Jerry and Donna Adrian and Leigh and Doug Shuck. It was crowded and we ended up eating on the balcony. It was a little chilly but the food was good.
- 9:30 pm
- We went back to the Inn and played TIC with Dave, Lori and Bruce.
October 2, 2003, Thursday
- 8:30 am
- Diana got breakfast at McDonalds near the Inn and took it back to the room.
- 9:30 am
- Since Bruce and Lori had the same plans for the day, we decided to travel together and leave their rental car at the Inn. We headed west along the Columbia River and stopped at the Cascade Locks and information center. From there we took the historic highway and stopped at the falls: Horsetail, Multnomah, Wahkeena, Shepherd's Dell, and Latourell. Our next stop along the highway was the Vista House on Crown Point. The historic circular stone house built in 1917 sits 725 above the Columbia River Gorge and offers a spectacular view. It is currently being renovated, so we were not able to enter the building. We left at 12:40 and went to Bridal Veil falls which we had missed. Don and Bruce walked to the falls. Left at 1:25.
- 1:50 pm
- Crossed over the Columbia River into Stevenson, WA.
- 2:00 pm
- We stopped at "The Dough Folk" Deli, Bakery and Restaurant and enjoyed a wonderful lunch. Left at 2:50.
- 3:10 pm
- We traveled east along the Columbia River and spotted over 100 wind surfers on the river. This area is considered the wind surfing capital of the world. From there we went to the Spring Creek Fish Hatchery. We were really amazed watching the salmon "climb the ladder." We learned from an employee that the salmon return to the place they were "born" when they reach the age of 1-3 years. Most of these fish will become cat food, their eggs harvested, placed in the hatching area in December and released back to the river in the spring. Left at 3:30.
- 4:30 pm
- Crossed the Columbia River again and were once more back in OR in the town of The Dalles.
- 4:35 pm
- Lori and Diana were feeling the need to do some shopping. It was mostly of the "window" variety. Left The Dalles at 5:15.
- 5:40 pm
- Arrived at the Hood River Inn in Hood River.
- 7:00 pm
- We went to the town of Mosier and had dinner at the Wildflower Café with Jerry and Donna, Bruce and Lori, Tom and Lynn, McKenize (Mark Baumgarten's friend), Dave and Eric. We enjoyed a wonderful meal in a little room that we had all to ourselves.
- 10:00 pm
- Back to the Inn but no TIC that night.
October 3, 2003, Friday
- 8:25 am
- We left Hood River and we are following Bruce and Lori since our schedules coincided again.
- 9:15 am
- It was a little clearer today so we decided to stop again at Crown Point for some more pictures. We also stopped at The Women's Forum viewpoint to get a picture of Crown Point and the Gorge.
- 10:05 am
- Crossed the OR/WA state line as we headed north.
- 11:00 am
- We reached the Mount St. Helens Visitor's Center.
- 11:25 am
- We left the visitor's center with Bruce and Lori in our car. We began the awesome one hour trip up the mountain to the Johnson Ridge Observatory (completed in 1997), the closest viewing point to the peak of Mount St. Helens. It is impossible to express in words the area surrounding the still active volcano. It was May 18, 1980 when she "blew her top" and lost 1312 feet of her height. We would strongly encourage everyone to see the video at the Observatory. Once the film is complete, the screen raises, the curtain opens, and you can see the mountain peak in front of you through the huge window. It was a little hazy and very windy on the observation deck.
- 1:25 pm
- We began the trip down the mountain which was just as awesome. We stopped a few places along the highway to take pictures and enjoy the view.
- 2:05 pm
- We stopped at the Hoffstadt Bluffs Visitor's center and at another little gift shop along the road.
- 3:25 pm
- We dropped Lori and Bruce back at their car.
- 3:35 pm
- We had a light lunch at the Burger King in Castle Rock, WA.
- 4:50 pm
- Once again we arrived back in OR.
- 5:00 pm
- Back to the Hampton Inn - Portland Airport. Don returned the rental car.
- 7:00 pm
- We went next door to the Sheraton Inn for dinner in the dining room with Bruce and Lori, Tom and Lynn, Mark and McKenzie, Dave and Eric. After dinner we played TIC with Dave, Lori, Bruce, and Lynn. (Well, Lynn played half the game and Tom finished for her. Bad move as she was in the lead when Tom took over and HE didn't finish first.)
October 4, 2003, Saturday
- 9:10 am(PDST)
- Checked out of the Hampton Inn - Portland Airport and took the shuttle to the airport.
- 9:15 am
- Arrived at the airport. We checked our luggage and Diana shopped.
- 12:00 Noon
- We boarded the plane. They were about to close the door when the flight attendant mentioned a US Lighthouse Service jacket had been found in the waiting area and wondered if anyone wanted to claim it. It wasn't ours but we had a hunch it belonged to Tom Baumgarten (their plane left from the same gate a few hours before) so we said we knew the owner and would see it got returned. Sure enough, there was a luggage tag in the pocket with Tom's name on it. (We sure surprised him when we called after we got home that night, he thought it was gone forever.)
- 12:25 pm
- The plane left the gate and took off at 12:35. We lucked out again with an empty middle seat. The sky was clear and Diana enjoyed the view out the window.
- 5:40 pm (CDST)
- The plane landed in Minneapolis. Once again we had to walk from one end of the airport to the other to get our next flight. We even managed to get a quick bite to eat.
- 6:35 pm
- We boarded the plane and it took off at 7:10 pm.
- 9:15 pm (EDST)
- The plane touched down in Flint at Bishop Airport and we went to baggage claim for our luggage.
- 9:45 pm
- We got to our car, left the airport and made a quick stop for a few groceries on the way home.
- 10:30 pm
We had a wonderful trip to Oregon. The weather was great - in the 70 and 80's and except for some haze and a light mist one morning, we enjoyed beautiful sunny weather. We met some wonderful new lighthouse friends and enjoyed seeing former traveling buddies again. Our special thanks to Dave Snyder and the US Lighthouse Society for making all the arrangements for a wonderful lighthouse tour of the Oregon coast.
Trip Totals: 11 Lighthouses, 8 days.
Lighthouses: A Photographic Journey
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Conceived and Developed by David S. Carter
Photographs by Donald W. Carter
Text by Diana K. Carter, Donald W. Carter andamp; David S. Carter
Copyright © 1995-2003 David S. Carter, Donald W. Carter, andamp; Diana K. Carter. All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means, physical or electronic, in part or in full, without the express permission of the authors, is strictly prohibited.