Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Another Month Another Lighthouse

Cape Blanco Lighthouse

Cape Blanco Lighthouse, Oregon

I don’t know how a month has gone by since my last blog update. So, a quick update of what we have been up to.

When our replacements as Host for the second half of June arrived at Umpqua Lighthouse, we moved 2 miles to the Winchester Bay RV Resort right on the Umpqua River. Like anytime, packing up for 2 miles is the same as packing up for 200 miles.

I really enjoyed my time doing the tours at Umpqua River Lighthouse and met a lot of interesting people. On one of the last tours I did, there was a man there that said his Granddad was the last Head Lighthouse keeper of the Umpqua lighthouse. Always amazing who shows up for tours.

At the Winchester Bay RV Resort we met up with friends from our Montana Owners.com (MOC) group. MOC friends Carl & Susan had the site right across from us and another MOC couple John & Debbie had the site next to us. On the other side of John & Debbie were another couple that owned a Montana. So, Mark & Debbie joined our min-MOC Rally.

Sunday afternoon when I went to the freezer at Happy Hour the ice was melted. I tried the refrigerator on gas, but no luck. Monday we called Porter’s RV Dealer in Coos Bay. First they said they couldn't look at it until Friday, then they said bring it in and we will try to diagnosis the problem in case they need to order parts. It turns out that the refrigerator cooling unit had failed. They said it would take 7 to 10 days until the part came in. So, we moved into the Mill Casino RV Park. This is a good place to stay if your refrigerator isn’t working as they sell ice and have a very good restaurant. The part arrived in 8 days and was installed on a Wednesday. Since the the refrigerator was working on Thursday we bought supplies and Friday headed to our next volunteering job at Cape Blanco Lighthouse.


Log Carrier coming into port. When it leaves it will have logs stacked to the tops of the gray columns.


Tub Boat dwarfed by the Log Carrier.

Looking at part of the RV Park closest to the old docks

Looking toward the RV Park and the old docks.

Beautiful walk along the water front with the hanging flower baskets

Beautiful walk along the water front with the hanging flower baskets.

When we were here at Cape Blanco State Park in May we talked to the volunteer that had the site we now have; he said that they didn't have any TV over the air or on their satellite. He also said that they only got the cell phone or air card to work intermittently. When we got into our site, the volunteer on the site next to us said that his satellite dish worked fine, but that he didn't get any reception on his phone or air card. When I put my dish up I got the TV working right away. We have no bars on our cell phones but the phones seem to work fine. Our air card doesn't always work as fast as we would like, however it seems to works some of the time.

This is the western most point in Oregon and VERY WINDY ALL OF THE TIME!! We knew that as we had camped here about 25 years ago when our boys were small. The campground has a lot of trees and tall hedges between the sites which helps to cut the wind, but we get gusts that rock the trailer. The only full hookup sites are the Host sites and they set a little bit away from the rest of the camp sites.

This maybe the best volunteer job ever! Certainly it has the best hours of  any of the volunteer jobs we have done so far. All of the Host get Monday and Tuesday off. The local Friends of the Lighthouse group do the tours on Tuesday and they close the lighthouse on Monday. There is no cleaning involved and no gift shop sales or registers to deal with. Again the local Friends of the Lighthouse group takes care of that. They have a full time paid employee to run the gift shop. The Host schedule is a 3 hours afternoon shift, next day a 6 hour "all day" shift with a 30 minute lunch, and the third day is a 3 hour morning shift. We are off on the 4th day. It is all doing tours and talking to the people that come to see the lighthouse. For safety reasons they stop all tours and close the lighthouse if there are wind gust of 50 MPH. One of the volunteers is to check the wind speed once an hour. On our first "all day" shift we went to open the lighthouse there were sustained wind at 57 MPH and the gusts were 69 MPH. We stood around for about 15 minutes, however it remained 57 and 69 so we put up a sign that says “Closed due to High Winds” and never opened.

Cape Blanco Lighthouse is 59 feet tall but, it sits on a cliff that is 200 feet high. What a view!

View from the top of Cape Blanco Lighthouse