Friday, January 13, 2012

Pt. Sur Lighthouse

Have you ever visited a lighthouse? Over the years we have visited several here in California. And when we were in Oregon two years ago we visited three more, but we had never visited the one that is probably closest to us; Pt. Sur. It's only 19 miles south of Carmel on Highway 1. It sits out on a rock that is connected to the mainland by a sandy spit of land and often looks like an island. I took the photo above early in the morning on our way to see the elephant seals.

You can tour Pt. Sur Lighthouse on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. All you have to do is pull off the highway at the gate and wait for the docents to let you in. Then you drive across the pasture, park, and start your walking tour with the docents leading the way.

As your group climbs up over 300' to the top of the rock, the docents stop and explain how the lighthouse came to be, and interesting facts about the history of the area. When you get to the lighthouse they take small groups up the spiral staircase to the top.

The views from the top of the lighthouse are beautiful; especially on the day we visited because the weather was so warm and clear.

Here is a drawing of the original equipment showing the Fresnel lens. The lens and machinery were taken out in 1978 and put on display at the Museum of Monterey.

Above you can see the modern electric light. It isn't nearly as pretty as the prismatic Fresnel lens, but its white flash every 15 seconds probably still looks BEAUTIFUL to a confused mariner far out at sea.

Speaking of beautiful, Teen2 was on her winter break and accompanied us on this tour. Looks like she enjoyed it.

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