Those that have read my blog posts on camping sites know that I do not frequent established campgrounds. But life is full of unanticipated twists and turns. I found myself wanting a simple January vacation this year. A vacation where I didn’t have to make a lot of decisions like where to camp, where to find food, and what to do each day. So I decided to volunteer where I would have limited decisions to make. For the month of January I was a docent at the Heceta Head lighthouse. In exchange for volunteering as a docent I received free camping in the Carl Washburne campground with all hookups. The first time I have “camped” with complete hookups. Kind of glamping not camping.
Today I leave the beach and the life of a lighthouse docent and go home to my alternate reality of being an engineer. I leave behind a life scheduled by the tide table and the
lighthouse. A life where I had started to memorize the curves in the road and know which beach access is good at which tide. A life where I knew enough to chat with the locals about fossils and agates, and where to shop in town. And a life were I learned how to pronounce Yachats, Heceta, Umpqua, Yaquina, and Fresnel. Living here has been comfortable and simple. I’ve enjoyed it.
But challenges and adventures are the spice of life. It is time to move on.
Today was my last day of being a lighthouse docent. The weather gave me a grand farewell, it was the best weather I have had at the lighthouse during my stay. But my time here had come to an end so I hang up my vest and hat.
I don’t think my month being a docent at Heceta Head and living at the Carl Washburne campground could have been any better than it was. Everyone – the fellow docents, the campground hosts, the park ranger Debbie and park staff were enjoyable and pleasant to be with. And the public appreciated our effort to provide them tours.
Thank you everyone for making my month enjoyable and meaningful.
My hat is off and paws up to praise the Oregon State Parks. The state knows how to show off their fabulous beach to the visitor. The parks are clean, the restrooms have toilet paper, there are lots of restrooms along the coast, dogs can run off leash on the beaches, there are lots of beach accesses, and they have a great volunteer program. What a list.
I celebrate Oregon State Park’s approach to dogs. They choose to focus on managing dogs and dog owner’s behavior instead of restricting dogs. Dogs poop bags and waste containers are everywhere; at way side stops, at parks, at trail heads. Park your car and you see poop bags and a waste container. And dogs are everywhere with most people at the campground having brought a dog with them. It all seems to work. I see very little poop not picked up and I’ve only seen one dog not leashed when it should have been. The results are happy people and happy dogs.
I’ve started to reflect about my time here at Heceta, knowing that the days are numbered until I leave on Saturday. My last full day of exploring and playing was today. Thursday and Friday I will work at the lighthouse and then I’m gone. Today I stopped at beaches that I hadn’t visited before, looking for agates and letting the dogs run and play. A nice relaxing day.
Back to Lost Creek where I had been yesterday. Yes – they are clam fossils I found yesterday. So I am back today in the rain and wind looking for more. And I found more. Double eureka.
Last night my fellow docent Ann visited and we talked about were fossils can be found northward. Today not being a work day, it was time to go explore. The Lost Creek way side; south of Newport, was my destination today. The dogs and I ventured to the beach and started looking. The beach had a gentle sandy slope away from a small bluff, with the mudstone bluff being the potential source of the fossils. The looking was sparse today with much of the rocks buried under sand. But the location was ideal for me because with a bluff to walk along I didn’t have to keep an eye on my wander lust dog Sadie. She had no place to wander but the beach. I think I may have found two clam fossils.
It rained the entire time we were at the lighthouse today so we were hanging out in one of the old oil houses. An oil house is where they stored the kerosene that was used to fuel the light before electricity. Not luxury accommodations but in the oil house we are out of the wind and rain and have heat.
Today is Sadie’s 14th birthday and she is still living life to its fullest. This morning she spent it running on the beach like a fool. Today’s post celebrates Sadie.
Another walk on the beach this morning with the dogs looking for agates. Sandy and her mom were there again today. I found two more agates and some interesting rocks that I decided were keepers.
Then like all my work days, I said goodbye to the tired dogs leaving them in the trailer and I headed to work. Continue reading