Thursday, September 22, 2022

Heceta Headland Day Trip

Under The Plum Blossom Tree, Heceta Headland Day Trip

So believe it or not, this was our family's first excursion out into the world since before Covid. James and I, together with our son Tayo and his girlfriend Ellie, took a whirlwind day trip to the Oregon Coast and it definitely revived our spirits and gave us hope for future travels.

The lighthouse at Heceta Headland is a well known sight to most Oregonians. It's a large part of the history of the area, having been built in 1894. It is situated 205 feet above the Pacific Ocean on a bluff carved out of the west side of the 1,000-foot-high headland.

Although we have visited the coast many times over the years, we have never taken the self guided tour of the lighthouse - until now. It's an easy half-mile hike on an uphill dirt trail and it was a perfectly beautiful and warm day. 'The kids' headed up on their own right away, while James and I took our time.

Under The Plum Blossom Tree, Heceta Headland Day Trip

The 54-foot lighthouse tower contains a Fresnel lens that was built by the Chance Brothers of Birmingham, England and originally contained kerosene oil lamps which were maintained by a lightkeeper crew. These days the lamps are electric and automated. To this day it is still a working navigational light that is visible for 21 nautical miles.

After learning about and admiring the lighthouse, James and I then turned our attention to the stunning views. To the south is the sandbar at Cape Cove:

Under The Plum Blossom Tree, Heceta Headland Day Trip

To the east you can see the sheltered Cape Cove Beach and the Cape Creek Bridge in the background:

Under The Plum Blossom Tree, Heceta Headland Day Trip

As we descended back down the trail we stopped to view the Assistant Keeper's Duplex, one of the last remaining on the Pacific Coast. Originally there was also a Head Keeper's House, however it was demolished many years ago.

Under The Plum Blossom Tree, Heceta Headland Day Trip

It was an enjoyable day of hiking, picnicking and sightseeing. At some point during the course of this day, however, it struck me how much we've missed over the last two and a half years. I've realized that I've allowed myself to get caught in the trap of thinking there's no use going anywhere anymore because everything has changed because of Covid.

And while certainly there have been changes in our perceptions and in how we navigate our day to day lives, it's also important to get out of our tightly held, cautious routines and enjoy nature and to see other families out there doing the same. And it also dawned on me how important it is to recommit to spending time with family seeing new things, exploring, and having that feeling of being free to wander and take things as they come, even if only for a day. It rejuvenates the spirit and helps us connect with each other in a wholly different way from our daily lives of work and worry.

For us, family trips have always been an important part of life and this day was an important reminder to continue that tradition, for ourselves and for the younger generation.

Under The Plum Blossom Tree, Heceta Headland Day Trip

Have you taken any trips lately?



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