To the Lighthouse
Remember those Portlandian hipsters my mom mentioned in her most recent post? They are truly devoted to their craft, blurring the line between “oh, cool” and “isn’t that, like, a waste of money?” Example A: forgoing normal music practices at breakfast restaurants (an employee’s Spotify hooked up to speakers) and instead employing a real DJ complete with vinyl records and mixers. Cool? I guess, but the DJ station was for the sake of attaining a vibe, and as kind and talented as the DJ was, it seemed very Portland and not very practical.
However, breakfast was delicious, and the eating establishment in question, ‘Either/Or’ had food as carefully curated as the tunes on their guilt-free, non-GMO, fair trade speakers. This was our last stop in Portland, where we bid farewell to Sarah and Jeffrey, who then headed back to Los Angeles. My parents and I continued with our travels down the coast of Oregon.
Coastal highways are fun when you’re on par with the water level and less fun when you’re so close to the edge of a cliff that you can no longer see it, just the craggy rocks below. The view from the road down the Oregon coast was beautiful, and we made our way with caution. As the hours passed by, dusk approached, and we stopped at one of the many viewing points to capture the sunset’s last moments before we arrived at last night’s destination: the Heceta Lighthouse.
Although I’ve lived on Cape Cod my entire life, I’ve never actually been to a lighthouse. I can remember making one out of cardboard and a carefully detached light bulb in second grade, but somehow I never made it to a real one. The Heceta lighthouse was built in Yachats in 1894 and remains the brightest light on the Oregon coast, with beams that are visible 21 miles out to sea. The adjacent bed and breakfast at which we stayed is the current incarnation of what used to be the light-keeper’s house.
In spite of the countless ghost stories about the house and the lighthouse itself, I opted for some nighttime exploring of the lighthouse and the road up to it. Given my unfamiliarity with the area, my total lack of adeptness at map reading, and the pitch black of a cloudy, moonless night, this was somewhat daunting and entirely terrifying. Thankfully, that good ‘ol lighthouse did its job illuminating the way (along with not one but two flashlights, just in case). There are no photos of this excursion because, as aforementioned, it was incredibly dark and my camera couldn’t tell the difference between a beam of light and the darkness around it. Either that or it was the ghosts haunting the property. We’ll never know.
In addition to the beautiful views, the bed and breakfast is a historic landmark. Sitting on a side table in the house’s parlor was a small photo album with pictures taken by the resident light keeper from 1918 to 1930, and aside from beach erosion and swimsuit styles the views documented were largely unchanged.
Heceta Lighthouse was a fascinating and in many ways a relaxing stay. Like many people who grow up by the ocean, I’m often so used to it that I forget how unique and pleasant it is. After being landlocked for quite some time during our travels, this was a reminder of home and of the restorative property of simply taking a walk to the lighthouse, albeit with an alarming number of flashlights. Upon our departure from Heceta, we then spent the rest of the day driving to Gold Coast, Oregon, where we are currently staying.