“When a traveler goes alone he gets acquainted with himself.”-Liberty Hyde Bailey
Along Big Sur Coast
This tour is for any lighthouse lover or person who enjoys a great view.
First, understand that the tour is open only on weekends (Wednesdays, seasonally) and at two times during the day, once during the late morning and then in the early afternoon. My tour started around 2 p.m. Second, this is a guided, three-hour walking tour. A 360 foot rise in elevation that involves one to two flights of stairs. Third, arrive at least 30 minutes early outside the locked gate om Hwy 1 outside an old naval facility. Fourth, take money and/or a credit card with you as you are expected to pay once you reach the end of the tour.
I’ve never had an experience like this one and truly enjoyed it. You are greeted by a park ranger that directs you to travel an unpaved road that leads to the bottom of this large rock where another ranger will instruct you where to park.
The weather can change in this area so dress in layers and pack lightly; water and a few snacks. I used a walking stick. Also, wear a good pair shoes. If the group is large, the rangers will break you up into smaller groups which is helpful for the presentation.
The incline walk is manageable as the rangers lead you up and pause to tell you the history along the way while you gather your breath and shoot photos.
The scenery is breathtaking as you learn about the life of the light keepers, the lighthouse as well as the land around you. With clear skies, a warm sun and sea lions below barking away, I could not have asked for a better unplanned trip.
The lighthouse was under repair during my visit but we were still allowed to go up to the top and even walk outside against the strongest winds I’ve ever felt.
A set of stairs took us to buildings like the blacksmith shop, keepers home, water tower and several other buildings. There was even the jawbone of a young whale on display. Go inside the keepers house and look at the kitchen, sleeping area and other rooms that will bring back memories of appliances, or food packages that use to fill most American homes.
The staff was wonderful, knowledgeable and very kind. This tour was well worth the time and money. For those with disabilities and in need of help, call the park in advance for more information.
Inside the lighthouse
Tools for upkeep
“Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.”- W. H. Auden
It isn’t until you’re faced with a situation that you finally realize that it’s true. Time spent in California has put a face on the water shortage in the state.
While spending time at Lake Oroville Dam, the visual landscape is daunting. To actually see the damage a four-year drought has caused has made me more conscientious about water usage. Before taking a shower, I make it a point to turn on the water right before stepping in. Just like in the days of boot camp, I get in, get it done and get out. If there’s unused water left in my water bottle, I dump it out on plants and not in the street.
Local news stations in parts of Northern California, have television segments called Water Wednesdays, to bring water conservation tips and information to viewers. Homeowners must use mandatory water schedules regarding lawn care or face being fined. Big business are not removed from these restrictions although I have witnessed water meant for grass and gardens being wasted on the sidewalks turning streets into little rivers.
Hopefully water rations are not a part of California’s future. It’s a frightful thought. Imagine, families allowed only so many gallons of liquid blue for drinking, bathing, cooking and washing clothes. What would happen if farmers were given limited water usage for crops? Can you image not eating apples, oranges, grapes, melons or vegetables?
It’s time to take the water shortage seriously. It’s not one group, one race or one families responsiblity. It’s everyone’s responsibility.
In the distance
From a distance
“The cars we drive say a lot about us.”-Alexandra Paul
I want to apologize for the lack of Spotlight stories for the last two Fridays in a row. The explorer in me has roamed around the country in search of the fun and unusual. So here is the first in several interesting happenings along the West Coast and the Pacific Northwest.
On May 9th, in Oroville, California, a vintage car show lit up the downtown area. The Oro Dam Cruisers, a Oroville vintage car club, sponsored the Gold Rush Car Show. A step back in time to poodle skirts, rock and roll music brought on the party to show off these and many more vintage cars. A heartfelt thanks to the owners of these beauties that allowed me to snap these photos. (Photos are those of the writer and may not be reproduced.)