- Fizzy Thoughts: Piedras Blancas

Piedras Blancas

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?

9 comment(s):

Care said...

Oh this is fascinating! Lighthouses just seem to romantic, yes? My husband wants to build one in the back yard to use as a signal to the nieghbors to come over, drink a beer and watch the game. Maybe 'romantic' isn't quite the word.

Ti said...

I adore lighthouses but there are none in my immediate area. I can drive to several without too much effort though.

chartroose said...

No lighthouses in my neck of the woods. I think we should put one on top of Pikes Peak!

So, you're a tad afraid of heights, hmmm? I used to be...don't know why I'm not anymore. Just keep those stupid scary clowns away, okay?

Joanne said...

How neat that you got a tour, my hubs used to be a contractor and would have loved to work on a lighthouse. We live in an Atlantic Province so we have lots - the most famous being the Peggy's Cove lighthouse.

Lexi said...

A Fresnel lens? I read a book by Jimmy Buffett last year (A Salty Piece of Land), about the search for a Fresnel lens. How weird that it should come up in one of your blog posts (and that I should remember it and be able to recognize the name).

My fiance' and I were going to be married at the lighthouse in Jupiter, FL, until they jacked up the price. Now it's too expensive for us, but still a lovely place to visit.

Dar said...

Great post-I like the pics. I have always loved lighthouses but to get to one I'd have to go clear across Canada.

Bogsider said...

I can't even remember if I saw that on my roadtrip on Hgw 1 last year, but I must have as we went to that Elephant Beach (amazing!!!) and Hearst Castle and Cmabria AND Morro Bay, but I already said that. We slept in a Motel 6 just down the road from Hearst Castle as we were exhausted from driving through the Big Sur area in a fog so heavy we were not sure we would survive the ordeal. LOL. Could've used some lighthouse-lights along the way ;o)

Ladytink_534 said...

There's a really old one in Biloxi but that's about 30 minutes away... Love lighthouses though. Ghost Hunters visited this great one in Florida that I REALLY hope to see one day.

Veens said...

Nope.. no lighthouses nearby. The only ones I have seen are on Goa beaches, Kanyakumari Beach and such holiday spots... and no! I dnt love them enough!

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

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