Mise Tales Twenty-Two

 

For an update on what a Mise Tale is then please see Mise Tales One.

Lighthouse B&Bs let guests play keeper for a night Chris Wadsworth, special for USA TODAYJanuary 27, 2013

(Photo: GoEscape)

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

 Most lighthouses are automated, and most ships are guided by satellites, radar and computers today

  • Many old lighthouses are finding new life as charming bed-and-breakfasts and rental homes
  • Lighthouse stays are available in more than a dozen states
  • Lighthouse stays are available in more than a dozen states . . . more

[private] Once guardians of the seashore, lighthouses stood tall against wind and storm, guiding ships of yore to safety along America’s coastline.

Romantic? Sure, but no longer a reality. Today, most lighthouses are automated, and most ships are guided by satellites, radar and computers rather than lights, horns and bells from a distant tower.

That’s why many old lighthouses are finding new life as charming bed-and-breakfasts and rental homes.

The U.S. has handed over many federally owned lighthouses to local municipalities, nonprofits and private operators. The goal: offer visitors unique lodging while preserving the structures and keeping them accessible to citizens.

Lighthouse stays are available in more than a dozen states. Check out these four in the Pacific Northwest, which allow you to experience what it’s like to live in a lighthouse. 

 

 EAST BROTHER LIGHT STATION

East Brother Island | Richmond, Calif.

Set sail to reach one of the most unique bed-and-breakfasts in North America—the island of East Brother, home to the East Brother Light Station, 30 minutes from downtown San Francisco. Operational for more than 133 years, the light station offers guests luxurious rooms, four of them in the light station itself. The other one is in the adjacent Fog Signal Building.

A stay includes champagne and hors-d’oeuvres upon arrival, a sumptuous dinner with wine and a full breakfast. “It’s a remote place. You have all these Victorian-style rooms, this Victorian house with a white picket fence. We’re trying to create a romantic atmosphere,” says innkeeper Richard Foregger.

Tour the small island, learn its fascinating history and relax with amazing views of San Francisco, Mount Tamalpais and the Marin County coastline. $295–$415 per night; 117 Park Pl .; 510-233-2385; ebls.org

HECETA HEAD LIGHTHOUSE*

Heceta Head Lighthouse

Heceta Head Lighthouse

Situated on a cliff 150 feet above the crashing surf, the Heceta Head Lighthouse is one of the most dramatic sights along the Pacific Coast.(Photo: GoEscape)

  Heceta Head State Park | South Yachats, Ore.

Situated on a cliff 150 feet above the crashing surf, the Heceta Head Lighthouse is one of the most dramatic sights along the Pacific Coast. Nearby sits one of the original lightkeeper’s cottages—Heceta House—re-imagined and renovated as a charming bed-and-breakfast. Cozy rooms with views of the 56-foot-tall tower and the Pacific Ocean beyond play host to up to 15 guests in six bedrooms.

Heceta House serves seven-course gourmet breakfasts, featuring artisan cheeses, fresh produce and homemade pastries. It’s also known for Rue, the friendly ghost rumored to roam the property.

An Oregon State Parks and Recreation spokesman wouldn’t confirm the legend of Rue. “As a public employee, what I can say is I love stories like that because they spark your imagination,” says Chris Havel. “I encourage visitors to learn about the rich history of this part of the Oregon coast and have fun with stories like that. They bring the landscape to life.” $133–$315 per night; 92072 Hwy. 101; 866-547-3696;hecetalighthouse.com

*Heceta Head Lighthouse is undergoing renovations until August 2013. However, tours are ongoing and the visitors’ center is open. The bed-and-breakfast is also open throughout the renovations.

  NORTH HEAD LIGHTHOUSE

 Cape Disappointment State Park | Ilwaco, Wash.

Three lovely rental residences await overnight visitors near Washington’s famed 65-foot-tall North Head Lighthouse at the mouth of the Columbia River, a treacherous and turbulent stretch of water where the river meets the Pacific Ocean.

Located in Cape Disappointment State Park, the Head Lightkeeper’s home is a century-old Victorian house with breathtaking views of the ocean. Nearby are the Assistant Lightkeepers’ residences—smaller, but still beautiful. “They’re absolutely gorgeous,” says Linda Burnett, a spokesperson for Washington State Parks. “The residences themselves and the furnishings are very luxurious compared to the primitive camping you might envision at a state park.”

Just watch out for the wind. North Head is known as the windiest lighthouse area in the nation, frequently recording wind speeds of 100 miles per hour. Staff love to tell the tale of a duck that blew off course in 1932, crashed through a lighthouse window and chipped the lantern’s mammoth lens. Assistant lightkeeper’s residence: $224–$299 per night depending on season, head lightkeeper’s residence: $318–$424 per night depending on season; North Head Lighthouse Rd.;360-902-8844;parks.wa.gov/vacationhouses/capedisappointment

POINT ROBINSON LIGHTHOUSE

Maury Island, Wash.

Maury Island in Washington’s Puget Sound is the setting for the 38-foot Point Robinson Lighthouse built in 1915. It shares a sandy beach with two renovated keeper’s quarters rental homes, perfect for families and small groups to get away and unwind. The two bungalows have full kitchens, sitting parlors and porches, all with stunning views of the sound.

Captain Joe Wubbold, president of the nonprofit Keepers of Point Robinson organization, says the quarters aren’t luxurious, but rather homey and comfortable. “They are the way that they were when the keepers from the lighthouse service were living there,” he says. “We have appliances in there that go back to the era. It’s really a beautiful restoration.”

Outside, water birds abound around the lighthouse, and the busy shipping lanes are filled with colorful watercraft of all shapes and sizes. The larger Vashon Island is just a short drive across a manmade isthmus from Point Robinson. $975–$1,580 per week depending on season, $225 per night in the off-season (two-night minimum stay); 206-463-9602

If you find yourself caught up imagining the adventures of those long-ago lighthouse keepers, there’s an amazing opportunity for you. Some old lighthouses now offer what are called keeper programs, where you pay a small fee and then get to live and work at a lighthouse for one to two weeks.

For example, the New Dungeness Light Station on a spit of land in Canada’s Strait of Juan de Fuca, offers families the chance to work as keepers. Duties include watering plants, mowing the lawn and giving tours of the light station to the public, including climbing all 74 steps. For more info on keeper programs, visit uslhs.org.

This article is excerpted from GoEscape, USA TODAY’s travel magazine, on sale now. Buy wherever magazines are sold or at goescape.usatoday.com. [/private] 

 

And Pinterest Does it Again! More lighthouse pictures!

Pinterest

Pinterest page

 Are You Interested in Supporting Two Film Producers to Make a Film Called “Lighthouse”

A dramatic tale of fatherhood, relationships and dedication based on the story of The Prodigal Son in Luke 15. . .  more

 

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 How To Make A Beautiful Clay Pot Lighthouse ideas-clay-pot-lighthouses

What a wonderful neat idea to make a lighthouse from clay pots. Staked and on top of it a light ( or perhaps even a solar garden light) this definitely makes for an eye-catching garden decoration.

It’s really easy to do and painting the lighthouse in the color of your choice will make it “fit” perfectly into your garden or backyard. Check out this easy to-follow tutorial via the link below (make sure you scroll down on the page – the drawing and explanation are here: Terra Cotta Lighthouse

 

Recycling Glass as Sea Glass aka Mermaids Tears

 

Pulteney Point

A long time ago back in 1969 on my first lighthouse at Pulteney Point, we used to recycle glass bottles by taking them out in the boat or canoe, and breaking the washed glass bottle over the side of the boat and letting the fragments settle onto the ocean floor. It was not pollution as such as most glass is 90% sand. 

Have you ever seen frosted glass pieces in the beach sand? Usually many varieties of colours from the sea green pieces of broken glass from Asian fishing net floats (glass balls) to the browns and whites of everyday bottles. Usually the bottle is thrown in the sea from land, thrown overboard from a boat, or dumped from a garbage scow off a big city. Glass is the most recyclable of modern user items, even if it is just dumped in the ocean.

The whole bottle can be returned for refilling, the broken ones can be melted down and remade into new bottles. But the sea does it differently. With the pounding of the waves on a beach, each piece of a broken glass is ground down, rounded off, and frosted by the action of sand moved by the waves. Another name for these polished glass shards is mermaid’s tears.

If you are lucky you can find every colour, with red and blue harder to find. At the end of this article I will give you a way to make your own sea glass. It is very beautiful as a floor in an aquarium, used to support candles, make sun catchers – uses are endless.

What brought this story to mind was this news article:

The Glass Beach in California – January 13, 2013 on Twisted Sifter

glass-beach-mackerricher-park-fort-bragg-california – Photograph by Jef Poskanzer

In MacKerricher State Park, near the city of Fort Bragg in northern California, you will find a beach littered with glass. Over decades of crashing waves the glass has been smoothed and rounded, transforming the shoreline into a colourful palette of pebble-like glass and sand. . . . more

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Now, as promised, if you do not live near a beach with sea glass, you can make your own easily. My last lighthouse was on a rocky island with no beaches – hence no sea glass.

Go to your nearest rockhound shop and purchase their cheapest rock tumbler. The one I had was two rubber barrels on two rollers run by a small electric motor (similar to photo on the left). The next item you need from the rockhound shop is their coarsest grit to rough up the glass.

beach Glass from a Tumbler

Carefully break any bottles you want to tumble, fill a tumbler barrel with the broken glass, add water and grit, close the lid securely and drop the barrel on the rails and let it run all night. Check in the morning if your glass is what you desire. If not, then tumble some more.

 

 

It is hard to tell real sea glass from the tumbled variety, and you have an infinite variety of coloured glass to choose from – just go to your nearest liquor store – especially in the wine section! Check out this website for more information.

 

If you are on Facebook, check out this page from a lighthouse on the BC coast where they recycle the beach glass into ornaments such as earrings, etc.

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The Glass Beach in California – January 13, 2013 on Twisted Sifter

glass-beach-mackerricher-park-fort-bragg-california – Photograph by Jef Poskanzer

In MacKerricher State Park, near the city of Fort Bragg in northern California, you will find a beach littered with glass. Over decades of crashing waves the glass has been smoothed and rounded, transforming the shoreline into a colourful palette of pebble-like glass and sand.

glass-beach-mackerricher-park-fort-bragg-california – Photograph by Molly (teeping on Flickr)

From 1906-1967 (the start date is up for debate), seaside towns were known to use the coastline as dumps, Fort Bragg was no different. After the devastation of the San Francisco earthquake the streets were filled with rubble and trash was dumped on the coast for the ocean to wash away. This of course, included plenty of glass.

glass-beach-mackerricher-park-fort-bragg-california – Photograph by John ‘K’ on Flickr

It wasn’t until 1967 when city leaders and the North Coast Water Quality Board realized what a mistake it was and sought to relocate the dump away from the ocean and clean up the shoreline. After the clean-up and more decades of crashing ocean waves; only smoothed and rounded glass mostly remained.

glass-beach-mackerricher-park-fort-bragg-california – Photograph by Jef Poskanzer

Glass Beach was purchased by California State Parks in October 2002. The Coastal Conservancy, with the City of Fort Bragg and the Mendocino Land Trust worked for over four years to assemble funding for the purchase of the 38-acre property. The Land Trust managed waste removal and clean-up, and completed botanical, archaeological and erosion control work that was required prior to purchase by State Parks. Since the Pudding Creek Trestle was completed in 2007, visitors may now walk from MacKerricher State Park to the headlands at Glass Beach connecting this highly visited “city” park to several miles of beach trails.

glass-beach-mackerricher-park-fort-bragg-california – Photograph by mamojo on Flickr

As word of this unique beach spread, more and more visitors descended onto Glass Beach. Drawn to the beautifully smoothed and rounded glass, visitors began pocketing the glass with each visit. This has greatly diminished the amount of glass on the beach. And since it is now State Park property it is a misdemeanor to remove any artifacts. While there is still glass to be found the area has been greatly depleted.

glass-beach-mackerricher-park-fort-bragg-california – Photograph by Megan (meganpru on Flickr)

In addition to searching for glass, the beach has an interesting array of tide pools to explore. Crabs, mollusks, and many aquatic plants make their homes in these ever-changing environments.

5638422480_312e6094d7_b – Photograph by Lee Rentz on Flickr

 

Sources

– FortBragg.com: Glass Beach – From Trash To Treasure
– Visit Mendocino: Glass Beach
– The Mendocino Land Trust: Glass Beach
– CNN: From trash to treasure
– Wikipedia: Glass Beach (Fort Bragg, California)

glass-beach-mackerricher-park-fort-bragg-california – Photograph by kara brugman on Flickr

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Legoland Lighthouses

Legoland lighthouse

 Probably most of you have heard of Legoland Parks. Like the Disney parks, they seem to be all over the world, but the one I am going to speak about is Legoland Park California at 1 Legoland Drive, Carlsbad, California, 92008, USA 

 

Legoland Interactive Park Map

 I have mentioned Lego lighthouses as model kits before in posts, but in this park there are large lighthouse replicas – one of mention is in the New England Harbour area (see the interactive map at the left).

 

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