Friday, November 21, 2008
About 45 minutes north of Morro Bay, on Highway 1, there is a point known as Piedras Blancas. If you are at all familiar with our stretch of coastline, this is just north of Hearst Castle, right around the area where the elephant seals have taken over the beaches. For a few weeks, Hamburger was working at the Piedras Blancas lighthouse, replacing a floor in one of the outbuildings. Last Sunday we drove up there to collect some of his tools, and we got a private tour by the Bureau of Land Management dude that is stationed at the lighthouse. Hamburger actually climbed up the ladder and through the hole and stood on top of the lighthouse to check out some incredible views. I chickened out (the thought of backing down out of the hole and onto the ladder without anything to grab onto was making my palms all sweaty). Unfortunately, I didn't take my camera with me, but I did nab a few photos from the BLM website.
This is what the lighthouse looked like around 1906. The Pacific Ocean is directly behind the lighthouse. In the 1940s there was some earthquake damage and the top of the lighthouse was removed. Today, it is a stumpier version:
Poor little lighthouse. It's in need of lots of TLC. There are plans to restore the lighthouse to its former glory (starting with replacing its top...but they need 10 million dollars to do that).
Very few of the original buildings remain. The Victorian house that was the first keeper's residence was bulldozed into the ocean in 1960. Yes, into the ocean...it made for a handy dumping ground. The other keeper's house was sold for $1 and moved to nearby Cambria. Evidently the company that moved the house went bankrupt from the effort.
And the Fresnel lens that used to guide ships is now in Cambria:
How about you...any lighthouses in your neighborhood?