Saturday, June 28, 2014

North Head Lighthouse

 North Head Light sits on a headland north of Benson Beach in Cape Disappointment State Park. Like the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, it is an operating light providing service to mariners - in this case those approaching the Columbia bar from the north.

This is the view from the base of the light looking south, taking in Benson Beach and the North Jetty. Immediately beyond the North Jetty is the mouth of the Columbia River.

The light, which was built in 1898, can be approached on land from two paths that form a loop. No matter which quarter mile path you take, your first view of the light is just the lantern room.

The tower and the oil houses set at a lower level on the headland and aren’t seen until turning a corner in the trail.

The decorative base of the lighthouse tower was made of hand-shaped sandstone with a plaster or concrete finish coat. The paint and the decorative work is showing its age. 

The railing around the exterior of the lantern room is badly rusting but access to the catwalk is limited to Coast Guard staff who clean the windows and otherwise maintain the effectiveness of the light.

The classic circular staircase to the lantern is constructed of cast iron parts. The stair tread gets narrower towards the top. I’d love to see the architect’s specs for the stairs. I wonder if the parts change as the stair twist tightens up or if there is enough play in the holes to allow the same part to be used.

On the day we visited, Paul was handling the tour at the top while Nina, author of the WheelingIt blog, was staffing the downstairs. Business was a bit slow so Turk and Nina got to know each other while BJ enjoyed the view and her chance at the tour.

It was really nice to meet Paul & Nina. They write an excellent blog with lots of information about boondocking spots, eating spots, and places to see that might be off the beaten path. They do very complete and helpful campsite reviews as well.

This post was posted from our campsite at Cape Lookout State Park in Oregon using our Millenicom hotspot. We're seeing 4 bars of Verizon 4G using the antenna and amplifier.

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