Monday, April 19, 2010
This is Cape Arago Lighthouse on the Southern Oregon Coast, sixty miles north from where we live. The entire Oregon Coast looks like this, mountains jutting out to the Ocean, islands and stacks popping out everywhere.
Ships need plenty of warning signs to avoid these waters.
The entire coast of Oregon is punctuated by lighthouses, most of them still working, day and night, offering respite and guidance to the weary mariners. Nowadays, though, with so much better instrumentation, boats and ships have marvelous mapping opportunities to identify dangers, temperatures, fish finding sensibilities, and a range of other functions necessary for navigation.
If ships didn't have lighthouses, they would end up as broken carcasses on deserted beaches like this one, waiting years or decades to be discovered.
This stretch of beach is full of driftwood and broken ships in an area that is still wild and natural and hardly ever trespassed by humans.
Lighthouses were built before many people moved to these shores, as ships traveled these waters to and from California, transporting lumber south to Eureka and San Francisco to fuel the big appetite for homes and businesses during the great California Gold Rush.
Oregon has a relative small population, about three and half million in the entire state, less than the city of Los Angeles. The biggest town on the coast is Coos Bay, about sixteen thousand people, founded by the Simpson family, a big lumber and shipping company out of San Francisco.
The oldest townsite is my town, Port Orford, founded as a military post, in 1851. Its population is almost twelvehundred souls, half of whom are year-round residents, mostly retirees and artists.
The rugged coast of Oregon is mostly fog free since storms sweep through and clear the air regularly.
Everything is green. Our rainy season is coming to an end, heralding a dry season. Our temperatures range from 40 F in the winter months to 60+F in the summer months.