Tuesday, August 23, 2016

So Long Florence

The Heceta Head Lighthouse is known as one of the most photographed lighthouses in the United States.  I contributed to that claim over the past several days.  This lighthouse viewpoint, located on Oregon Coastal Highway 101, is wonderfully scenic and one cannot help but to pull over and take some kind of picture for a memory keepsake.

The headland is named for Don Bruno de Heceta.  He was the first European, sailing under the direction of the Royal Spanish Navy in 1775, to record this high precipice, which rises over 1000 feet above the ocean.  The lighthouse itself, is 206 feet above the ocean and it's 56 feet tall.

We missed the lighthouse tour by a few minutes but they were only allowing people in the small connecting building, not up into the tower.

Construction of the Heceta Head Lighthouse, begun in 1892, was completed in 1894.  At that time, materials used were unloaded from ships and rowed to shore or they were carted by house-drawn wagons from the town of Florence.  The bricks were brought up from San Francisco.

The only original structures that remain are the lighthouse, the assistant lightkeeper's house and the 2 oil houses.

Heceta's first order Fresnel Lens is almost like Bodie Island Lighthouse's first order Fresnel Lens (North Carolina Coast).  This is the only active Chance Bros.-made Fresnel Lens in the US.  The electric light was added in 1934 and was fully automated in 1963.

A view of the cove and beach area below the lighthouse head.

...and a view of the historic Cape Creek Bridge built in 1932.

Of course, we drive just a little bit further north to see what the tides are doing to the wave action at Cook's Chasm and Thor's Well.

The fog stays away this day and we get to walk out on the north jetty of the Siuslaw River.

We also find a huge collection of drift wood.  It gets deposited there by wave and whirlpool action during those rough winter storms.

That's the US Coast Guard traveling towards the inlet, through the jetty.

And one more picture from "Ocean Beach Pullout" on Highway 101.

Florence has a lot to offer and we really enjoyed our stay in the area.  Time to Eas-on Down The Road to Coos Bay, where we'll be for about 2 weeks.
More Later.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Fun Photos From Florence

Florence, Oregon has been our home-base for the last several days.  The town was just listed by Expedia as "2016  One of the Most Beautiful towns in America".  We agree.  The downtown water-front area is as quaint and interesting as any we have ever seen.  Good restaurants, interesting shops and a colorful public boat dock on the Siuslaw River, make for some nice strolls with scenic river views.  The Farmer's Market is held there every weekend plus the famous "Dancing with Sea Lions" Community/Public Art Displays are scattered all throughout town and the historic water front district. Here are a few of these really cool Sea Lions sculptures.

Florence's Public Boat Dock.  Note the rotting pilings, the remnants of those historical long gone piers.

Many of the original buildings from Florence's historical fishing port and logging industry 
have been restored and are now used for restaurants and shops.

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
backs up to our campground and is a very popular area to explore..if you have ATV.

Just up Highway 101, about 20 miles north of where we are located in Florence, is one of the most scenic areas of Oregon's coastline, the Cape Perpetua Headland and Scenic Area. We have driven up to this place almost everyday.  In spite of the low hanging fog most days, the views here are stunning.  This viewpoint is about 800 feet high, the tallest point accessible by car on the Oregon Coast.  On clear days, one can see about 70 miles up the coastline.

The Whispering Spruce Trail not only leads to a spectacular viewpoint but to the Rock House and it's view as well.

The Giant Spruce Trail, also on Cape Perpetua, takes you to one of the most incredible trees we have ever seen.  This spruce tree is estimated to be almost 600 years old and began it's life on a nurse log.  It has survived major wind storms, several forest fires, an earthquake and even a tsunami!  It is over 185 feet tall and has a circumference of 40 feet.

Just one more of the many scenic views along this section of the Oregon coast.
More later..The Heceta Head Lighthouse.