Scott's Casa Grande Wheelio travel blog

Welcome to Cape Meares

Our daily walk to work

Shortest lighthouse on the Oregon Coast

Top of the tower

The damaged lens

View from Cape Meares bluff

Pig & Ford Races




After leaving CA the last week of July, we slowly made our way north, visiting friends along the way and arriving at Cape Lookout State Park in Tillamook, OR on July 30th. We have been volunteering at the Cape Meares Lighthouse since August 1st. What a gorgeous place to "work"!! I've enclosed a few photos of our "worksite".

As you will see, I've included a close-up of the shattered Fresnel lens. Some of you may be aware of the vandalism that occurred at this lighthouse in January of 2010. But for those of you who are not, two local men in their mid-twenties had a little too much to drink one night and fired 12-15 rounds from a high-powered rifle into the tower. Yes, they were caught (they actually turned themselves in). Since they also shot out the current active Coast Guard light, they could have gone to prison for a very long time. But, in the best interest of the lighthouse, a plea agreement was reached which allowed them to keep their jobs and avoid extended jail time. They were ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution (of which most has been paid), community service, and 16 days in jail every year for three years (which starts before Christmas and runs through the anniversary date of their crime). The 16 windows that were shattered have been replaced. The priceless Fresnel lens cannot be repaired or replaced, but a lighthouse historian is returning next month to stabilize the broken section which will allow visitors to again climb the stairs into the tower. The shattered lens will just remain part of this lighthouse's history.

On a happier note....Scotty's shoulder is doing great. He is very faithful about doing his exercises and icing his shoulder twice a day and is getting a lot of movement back. Although we shared the motorhome driving from Citrus Heights to Tillamook, he was unable to drive our standard shift truck until mid-August. I am so glad he is doing most of the local driving now. After two months I was really tired of that stick shift.

The weather here has been gorgeous....65-75 degrees and sunny most days. Our weekly work schedule is three days on/four off or four days on/three off so we get lots of time to play. We attended the Tillamook County Fair a couple of weeks ago. Three of my high school friends from Mill Valley, CA were working at the beer garden so we had a fun visit with them, too. And....we got to watch the Pig & Ford Races!!! We had been told about these for years, but had never been in this area at fair time. What a a nutshell....drivers must run across the race track, grab a pig from a pen, tuck it under their arm, run back to a Model T chassis race car, hold onto the pig while they crank the car to get it started, jump in and take off while still holding the pig. They make one loop around the track, stop, jump out, switch the pig for a new one and do it all over again. The winner is declared after three laps. It is hysterical. Of course, the best part is when a pig gets lose and jumps out of the moving car during the race. If this happens, the driver must down the pig and return to his car to finish the race. Unfortunately, the pictures really don't do it justice.

We have two more days at the lighthouse then north to WA for six months.

I've added a few more confirmed hosting dates to our itinerary:

Aug. 2011 - Cape Meares Lighthouse, Tillamook, OR

Sept. 2011 - Dosewallips State Park, Brinnon, WA (Olympic Peninsula)

Oct. & Nov. 2011 - Belfair State Park, Belfair, WA (Hood Canal)

Dec. 2011 thru Feb. 2012 - Millersylvania State Park, Tumwater, WA

Mar. & Apr. 2012 - Fort Stevens State Park, Warrenton, OR

May & June 2012 - Nehalem Bay State Park, Nehalem/Manzanita, OR

July 2012 - Cape Meares Lighthouse, Tillamook, OR

Aug. & Sept. 2012 - Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, OR

Bye for now,

Kris (& Scotty)

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