Oregon Road Scholar Cape Perpetua


January 21, 2013



The view from my hotel window

I awoke to another beautiful and sunny day on the Oregon coast. This part of the coast gets 100 inches of rain a year and has winds that literally blow the trees down. Or so I was told. There was not much sign of that sort of weather on this day.

After breakfast we had a lecture on lighthouses by T. McCracken who at one point in her life had the task of restoring the Heceta Head light keeper’s home at the light station there. She described how long it took for light houses to get approved for this section of the coast and then the effort it took to get materials in place to build a light house once it had been approved. She then went on to describe the lives of the three families that were normally assigned to keep the light burning and to keep the light house in repair. In hindsight it would have been a lot easier to buy all of the boats a GPS and called it a day.

After lunch Carol Unser gave us a lecture on the geology in the area. I find myself fascinated by geology of late and Carol’s lecture just added to my fascination. Cape Perpetua was formed over the hotspot that is Yellowstone and then over the years it traveled out to sea carried by the North American tectonic plate. Many years later the Oregon coast caught up with it and it rejoined the continent. Then someone built a hotel on it and that is where I am staying.


View from Cape Perpetua

After that we headed out to the top of Cape Perpetua named by Capt Cook for its perpetual fog and on St Perpetua Day. There was no fog. The view from this elevation was remarkable. We took a short hike and learned about the plants and witnessed the trees that had been downed by the high winds.


If you have to chain the buildings down, maybe the winds do get strong.

Upon our return to the hotel we watched a video about the lighthouse we were slated to visit on Tuesday. Then we had dinner and it was back to the lecture hall for a slide show on natural history. By that time my brain was full and I had to go to bed to forget some stuff so there would be more room in my head for the next day. It was a delightful day in all respects.


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