Sunday, May 18, 2014

Astoria, OR - Hiking to the Lighthouse

Today, after our long museum day in Astoria, we decided a hike sounded like a nice relaxing activity. I know what you're saying: how can I put ‘hike’ and relaxing in the same sentence? Well, it was not a long hike, and not too strenuous. We are in a campground which has a neat path to the beach about 5 minutes away. It goes through some sand dunes covered with beach grass and scrub beach trees and then reaches this beautiful beach. Note the tire tracks. Lots of Jeeps and trucks rumbling along this beach.
The trail left the beach and headed up the head, which you can see in the beach picture above. Winding trail through lush greenery.
Obviously this tree grew out of a nurse log which has since deteriorated. Those roots must have gone over the log when it was there.
We then reached the lighthouse on Cape Disappointment. It was built in the 1850’s after a search for a suitable location. The ship Oriole arrived in September of 1853 with materials not only to build a lighthouse on Cape Disappointment but also to build 3 others in California as well. The ship, like so many others crossed the Columbia bar during a flood tide with a favorable breeze. Inside the bar, the wind died, leaving the ship to the vagaries of the currents, the waves, the wind and - the sand. The Oriole struck a sand spit and withing hours, the ship and all the lighthouse materials sank in view of where the lighthouse was to be built. Oh, the irony.

As we crossed the parking lot we found this friendly fellow walking out to us, expecting food. He turned away when he saw that we had none.
You can rent the lighthouse keeper’s house if you would like.
The lighthouse is in the worse shape we have seen in any lighthouse along the coast but they are in the process of fixing it and refurbishing it. They were replacing the tin on the roof as we circled the lighthouse.

As we were looking out towards the ocean, we head sea lions barking and found this sea lion ‘raft’ out a bit. Often sea lions get together in a group and float in this group. This is called rafting.
Nice hike with a WOW factor in the end. Back to the campground in the sun.

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