Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Newport, Oregon–Part 4


Yaquina Bay Lighthouse Newport, Oregon

Once again have gotten behind in posting blog entries. This entry was started 3 weeks ago but only finished today.

Newport, Oregon is the only town I know of that has two lighthouses. The Yaquina Head Lighthouse that I wrote about back in the blog entry Newport, Oregon – Part 1and the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.



Yaquina Bay Lighthouse and the Coast Guard Lookout tower.

The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse sits on a bluff above the Yaquina River. There are many unique things about this lighthouse. It is the only surviving wooden lighthouse in Oregon. Since the light tower comes right out of the Keeper’s House, it is one of the few lighthouses where the Keeper’s House has not been torn down.  Based on Lischen Miller's story, "The Haunted Lighthouse," published in an 1899 issue of Pacific Monthly. It is Oregon’s most famous “Haunted Lighthouse”. The brick lighthouses on the Oregon Coast generally take about 3 years to build. The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse was built in only 6 months! However, as soon as the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse was built the Lighthouse Service started building the Yaquina Head Lighthouse only 5 miles away because the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse was hard to see for ships sailing from the north. So the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse was first lit in 1871 with a Fifth Order Fresnel Lens (second from the smallest Fresnel Lens, only 1 foot 8 inches high by 1 foot 3 inches wide) and was turned off in 1874 when the Yaquina Head Lighthouse was first lit with a First Order Fresnel Lens (the largest type of Fresnel lens, 7 feet 10 inches high and 6 feet 1 inch wide).


The original light has been gone since 1874 so here is a photo of a picture of a Fifth Order Fresnel Lens.


The ladder to the Lens room is blocked off.


The Lighthouse Keepers Dining Room.


The Lighthouse Keepers Parlor.


The Yaquina Bay Bridge at Newport, Oregon is 3,223 feet long and 133 feet high at the road way.


Right next to the Newport Marina RV Park is the Rogue Distillery. Since we have never been to a distillery we went on one of their daily tours.


This is definitely a small operation, this is a picture of their one and only still. Every bottle is hand filled and hand corked because they don’t have a machine to do it.


Yet they make 2 kinds of Gin, 3 kinds of Rum and 3 kinds of Whiskey. They claim all kinds of awards for their products. They also do what we thought were some pretty unusual things like: use Spruce needles to flavor the Gin and they make Whiskey out of the mash they use to make Dead Guy Ale. They also make some very unusual drinks like a Martini made with cucumbers and rosemary.


Mash from the Dead Guy Ale is brought over from the brewery across the parking lot in these 270 gallon containers.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Newport, Oregon–Part 3

The view from our table at Georgie’s Grill
Our busy social time in Newport continued with a visit from Laurie & Odel. They have been fulltime RVers  since 2003. Laurie writes their very popular blog “Semi-True Tales of Our Life on the Road” and they are active members of the Escapee RV Club sub group known as BOOMERS. I started reading their blog years before we started on the road to get information of what the full-timing life style was all about. We did meet them very briefly in Tucson just after we started on the road in 2008. However, that was just before we got sick. (Blog entry for Tucson 2008). They arrived just before lunched and asked for a recommendation. Naturally we suggested Georgie’s Grill. Odel is on a personal quest to find the world’s best clam chowder. He declared the clam chowder at Georgie’s Grill  as excellent. We could all see the hunks of clams in the chowder (this of course required us to return to Georgie’s later in the week to try it for ourselves).
In the foreground a small part of the fishing fleet with the Newport Bridge in the background.
One day we decided that we needed to see some of the sights of Newport and went for a stroll through the Historic Bay Front part of Newport. This is naturally right on the water and still has working fish processing plants and a lot of fishing boats. The area is however primarily a tourist area with restaurants, shops, galleries, hotels, fishing charters. wax museums, etc.
Newport’s Historic Bay Front has all of the usual tourist attractions.
The Bay Front also has some interesting murals
This is the new home of NOAA’s Pacific Marine Operations Center. We went to the open house and learned that NOAA is a lot more than just the National Weather Service.
NOAA ship Thomas G. Thompson it is 274 feet long, 52 feet wide and spends 250 - 315 days a year at sea doing scientific research.
One day Bob & Pam came by to pick us up for a lovely ride along the Yaquina River to the small town of Toledo, Oregon. We went to the Toledo Wooden Boat Show. This was a small town festival at its best on the warmest day of the year (75 degrees). This is also the furthest inland Kathy and I have been since late April.
Although the Toledo Wooden Boast Show had many hand made wooden boats this one was my favorite. I could not imagine actually getting it wet or risking it being hit by a rock in a stream.
Apprentice Pirates Bob and Pam learning how to load the “Potato Cannon”. 
Apprentice Pirate Bob at gunnery practice with the Potato Cannon.
Lookout  Montana Owners dot Com Quartzsite crowd. There may be a Potato Cannon in Bob’s near future.
Herring Gull
Bird notes:
When we first arrived here we saw a Bald Eagle flying over everyday but, it hasn’t been by since. However, we do see a lot of gulls (Herring, California and Western), we also see Great-blue Herons and Osprey daily. Other bird seen lately: Spotted Towhee, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, White-crowned Sparrow, Brant & Pelagic Cormorants and Common Murre.