The Oregon Trail 2018 travel blog

Cape Blanco Lighthouse

Huge lens - we were told the edges are sharp enough to...

This is what 43 mph wind looks like

One of our tour guides - love the mustache

Impressive home of Patrick Hughes built in 1898

Even the pantry has a great view

Oregon coast

Nice view

Lounging seals can be found almost anywhere there are rocks

Fog is rolling in


Crescent City, CA Cape Blanco Lighthouse sits on a 200’ high, very exposed cliff. Its primary function was to warn ships away from the reefs, and to provide a position fix for navigators. When mariners saw a flash of light for 1 second and darkness for 18 seconds before another flash, they knew where they were. Sad story: in 1992, two local teenagers broke into the lighthouse and, using a sledgehammer, smashed one of the lens’ bull’s-eyes and 6 smaller prisms. The boys were eventually apprehended and convicted. After a nation-wide search, a repairman was finally found – it is a lost art. By the spring of 1994, the lens had been restored using Corning Pyrex, at a cost of $80,000. Due to its exposed location, Cape Blanco is often buffeted by strong winds. Today during our visit the wind was blowing at 43 mph and gusting more than that. When sustained winds reach 50 mph, the tours are shut down and staff evacuated. We thought 43 mph was more than enough! It was incredible. We had to be super careful getting in and out of the car as the wind ripped the door from our hands. Patrick and Jane Hughes were quite influential in the area and contributed to the building of the lighthouse. Their 1898 home is open for tours. Hughes made his money through his dairy farm making and shipping butter to San Francisco. The 3,000-square-foot, 11-room ranch home was very well designed and quite comfortable. It was built with indoor plumbing - way ahead of its time.

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