Traveling Up The Coast

Parking is below, on one side or the other of a picturesque bridge.

The stretch of highway along the coast from Florence to Lincoln City (and beyond) has many places to pull over and enjoy the scenery. One of the first is Heceta Head Lighthouse. In addition to having a working lighthouse and a scenic viewpoint, the keeper's house is now a Bed and Breakfast, where we might have stayed on this trip, except for a misunderstanding that made us think it was not available when we were going to be in the area.

You leave your car in a parking lot at the base of the hill and hike up a trail to the lighthouse. The beach itself has a few stacks that sea birds like to use. In this photo, you can see the lighthouse on the hillside.

The stack, viewed from partway up the trail, and a closer view of the birds.

They do conduct tours of the lighthouse, so of course we took one. The tours are conducted by volunteers who are involved with the preservation of the lighthouse. Due to the narrow staircase and limited space in the tower, they can only take a small group at a time. However, the wait was not very long.

  1. Enter here
  2. A facsimile for the weight that originally would have turned the light
  3. Our tour guide with a diagram of the lens system

The stairs looked to be securely held together with clamps, so we felt perfectly safe climbing up into the lighthouse.

Midway up is a landing where there is now a display case of some items associated with running the lighthouse. If a keeper were fueling the lighthouse, the large can of kerosene would be left here, while he made multiple trips up to the light with a small can to do the filling. The reasoning is that if he dropped the filling container, it would be a small spill, rather than a potentially lighthouse-destroying spill.

We got to go to the level below the lens itself. We could see the workings that turn the lens, and hear them screeching. Apparently they've tried to have that fixed but it has not been successful.

The waves tried to climb the rocks, but could only get so far.

After the tour, we tried to get pictures of us in front of the lighthouse. A little girl volunteered to take our picture for us, and did. Then her mother took one, to make sure we got a good one. Can you guess who took which?

From inside the keeper's house (B & B&), there are some nice views. Notice the old wavy glass in the windows.

Further up the coast, there is a pull-out near Sea Lion Caves where you can look over and see the sea lions lounging on the rocks. You won't get to travel down an elevator and see and smell them within the cave, but you won't pay anything, either.

Another scenic turnout, with a nice beach view.

The final sunset at the Driftwood Shores.

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