I lay in bed and think, is it just me? As I age my body feels like it’s slowing down at a much more rapid pace. My walks are shorter, of course, this makes Jagger unhappy. He loves to get out and run for any reason. Especially if I will play with him. It just hurts a little more today as I move. I knew as a senior my body would give out eventually, I just didn’t think it would happen so quickly. “Maybe it’s the damp weather”, I think to myself. I roll over and snooze a few more minutes.
After all this mental work, I slowly rise and get ready for another day’s adventures. I am thankful I have some company on this adventure. Sydney has been a lot of fun. I think she too has a bit of the explorer DNA in her make up.
It’s the middle of our stay here at Tillicum State Campground on the Oregon beach south of Newport. Our plan was to spend some time today at Heceta Head Lighthouse. While we will be walking a lot and won’t take Jagger on the trails at the lighthouse, I still elect to bring him. It’s a cool day and he will enjoy the ride. He’ll definitely get to walk somewhere and probably go for a beach run.
The Workhorse turns the last corner exiting the campground and grabs traction on highway 101 South. It seems like a short drive when we arrive at the turnoff for Heceta Head Lighthouse. We pass under highway 101, which crosses Cape Creek on a beautiful bridge, the Cape Creek Bridge. It’s one of my favorite along the Oregon coastline. It was first opened in 1932 and has a history of its own.
In 1888, this area of 164 acres was first claimed by settlers from the Siuslaw Indians. The Siuslaw Indians traditionally fished, gathered seabird eggs and hunted sea lions on this beach and the surrounding small islands. We continue under the bridge winding around turns and into the parking area. Here we find a cool place to park, a little further out from what appears to be the main entrance. There we have room to park the Workhorse in the cool breezes. Jagger will remain on a diligent watch while we tour the old lighthouse above the cliff, overlooking the ocean.
The parking area is located in Creek Cove, right on the beach. It is here on this beach that builders received many of their building materials from ships offshore at low tide. Other supplies were also shipped by land from Florence just a few wagon hours south of this location. Many of the rocks used in the walls, buildings, and the lighthouse were gathered locally. It’s my understanding the bricks used were made in San Francisco.
Once on the trail, it’s a short, moderate walk up to the lighthouse with breathtaking views of the ocean. While most of the building was closed to the public for refurbishing, we did go on a short tour just inside, enough to see the winding staircase leading to the light. We then walked the grounds around the buildings. This is definitely a place you’ll want to stop if you’re in the area.
After our visit, Sydney and I walked back down the trail, stopping to admire the view and take a few pictures. When we got back to the Workhorse Jagger impatiently stuck his nose out the window greeting us. “You want to go for a walk Jagger?” I’m sure he was thinking, “silly question”. After retrieving Jagger, we continued to walk around the parking area overlooking the beach, then back in the truck and off we go on to more adventures.
Safe Travels…Gary and Jagger
More Photos: Heceta Head Lighthouse