New Digs, New Job & New Gear – Cape Blanco, OR
Well folks, we’ve made it to the wild west of Oregon. This is as west as you can get, as wild as a stormy sea, as desolate and beautiful as a raw, dreamy vision. If you thought the rest of the coast was remote you just ain’t been here yet. Oh yes it is WINDY, all kinds of windy with all shapes of gusts and blows but that’s also because you’re as “out there” as you can get. We’ve arrived at Cape Blanco -> our new digs, our next month home and our new exciting, jobs for Aug.
Cape Blanco sticks out like a crazy, lonely finger from the OR coast into the wild Pacific Ocean revealing endless miles of some of the most beautiful and rugged coastline on the coast. This is where the land meets the weather, where cliffs drop precipitously to the sea and where a single white lighthouse stands guard above it all. The only thing here is a campground, a historic house and a lighthouse with nothing but endless miles of wild views in between.
We entered the park yesterday to a sunny (and indeed windy) morning backing into our new, huge and very private RV site. The campground here is simply lovely and the 4 lighthouse host sites are set aside from the main loop surrounded by green on sides and front. We even have a slice of stunning ocean view right out our front window! After our arrival and chat with our lighthouse neighbours (all of whom are experienced “old hands” -> one couple has even been coming here for 10 years!) we went for an afternoon training and goodies.
The lighthouse here is still operational and much larger than Coquille River so there’s a rotation of 3 couples on-duty each day with a very organized tour-plan. Since it’s so unique and so very windy we even get special volunteer gear with brand new jackets and hats, plus bonus wooden name-plate, water bottles and license plate holder -> oh yes, they’re rightly proud of their lighthouse here and they’re not kidding around!
After our whirlwind tour we lazed away the afternoon on the gorgeous beach and explored several of the trails around the campground. This place is stunning and there is no doubt we’re gonna love it here, wind and all. Our first real hosting day starts tomorrow so it’s study-day today and hopefully smooth sailing without too many screw-ups for our shift tomorrow (we’ll see…). I’ll be writing all about the lighthouse (and the surrounding area) as we go, but for now I’ll just leave you with some preliminary pics and the promise of many more.
Oh and in case you’re wondering….yes, it IS windy today…..
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
Great place ,we love Oregon and will be there again.
This is fast becoming one of my all-time favorite states 🙂
Do they still sell those table mats with a pic of Cape Blanco lighthouse on one side and another, which I forget but on the same coast, on the other? Mine finally disintegrated 6 months ago.
I don’t know…lemme check at the shop tomorrow and I’ll report back.
Theresa Satterfield says
I envy your lifestyle!!
Nice! Nice! Nice! You guys are so lucky to be living right on the beach!!!! Enjoy!!!
It is an AWESOME spot! We do feel very lucky. Nina
Sra. Julia says
Wow! that is nice ! Will the wind drive you crazy? I’ve been in some windy places and the the wind just annoyed the heck out of me! Then again it was a thrill too.
Well we survived 2 months of crazy spring winds in New Mexico last year, so I figure we can handle a month here at Cape Blanco 🙂
The campsites are actually quite sheltered so that helps alot. I do enjoy the wind, but also enjoy being able to get out of it.
Nina, I love every inch of the Oregon Coast. You are SO lucky to be there and have the opportunity to host. I hope you get up to Astoria and that you can do the Columbia River Gorge or did I miss that somewhere along the line. Seems I read so many blogs, lately, I forget who is where and who has been where! Glad Paul is feeling better.
We spent almost 3 weeks in Astoria last year so we’ve been to that area and we LOVED it. Really enjoyed the town and the surrounding area. We would go back there in a heartbeat.
LuAnn & Terry says
We can vouch for it being windy, as it certainly was when we were there taking a tour of the oh so pretty lighthouse. We also rode through the campground and saw where the hosts are parked. They looked simply lovely. Love the new gear and we were wondering, does that hat Paul is modeling come with a chin strap? Given some of the winds we have heard about there, he may lose it without one!
We’ve already *almost* lost those hats a few times, so that chin strap would come in handy. We’ll probably end up going hatless, just to be on the safe side 🙂
Cape Blanco is a great place. Lovely surroundings.
You both look so professional in those jackets.
It was windy EVERY day we were in that area. Nature of the beast!
The jacket definitely makes me feel like a PRO…haha. We’re so loving it here already.
Beautiful! We’re planning on spending part of this fall on the Oregon coast and I can’t wait to visit some of the awesome places you’ve posted about. Thanks for sharing!
If you can manage get to the coast in Sept it’s one of the nicest times of year to be here….simply great month. It starts getting moist/wet towards winter (we got our first rains last year in Oct). It’s still beautiful no matter what the weather tho’
I think the name plates are a nice touch. Do they do that in the hopes that you’re return? Or do you get a very nice souvenir? Just wondering.
I like the garb. It seems they have a way of treating their volunteers very well.
Any time I was on the boat I always clipped my cap to the collar of my jacket with a lanyard with a little alligator type of clip on it. If you’ve ever received one of those name tags that goes around your neck you can use that to keep from losing your hat. (um, get rid of the name tag)
Whether over a cliff or in the water off the back end of a boat, once the hat’s gone, it’s gone. They sink surprisingly quickly too, which was why we had to come up with some sort of clip system.
We get to keep all the gear so I think the hope is that we come back. Oregon sure knows how to treat their volunteers nice….we heard it was a good program from other volunteers (before we joined) and I have to agree they run a great group.
The clip is a good idea for the hat….I’ll work on that one!
Jerry and Suzy says
Sounds like a lot of fun in a beautiful place. We haven’t been to Cape Blanco yet, so that needs to go on one of our lists. We’d be right at home with the wind, as it can get pretty ferocious out here in the desert too!
You would love it here. The campground is also fabulous…HUGE sites with lots of space inbetween -> might very well be the nicest I’ve seen on the coast so far.
This is just fantastic. Like my dream come true. Wind or no wind, where do I sign up to follow in your foot steps??? Two great host jobs in a row. Am I envious….oh no not much!!
Just apply to Oregon State Parks as a volunteer. That’s really all it takes. Here’s the link:
They have a GREAT volunteer program which is very well run. We applied specifically to be interpretive hosts and this was the position that was offered to us. No previous experience needed.
Donna K says
Do you get much time off to explore and just enjoy the area? So glad you are having a fun time with the volunteering.
Yup, we get 3 days off each week. Plenty of time to explore!
Jeanie and John Hoyle says
Enjoy your time at Cape Blanco. We spent two Octobers ’05 and ’06 as lighthouse hosts there, then we spent October of ’07 as Hughes House Interp. Hosts. It is a beautiful place, take advantage of the Huckelberries if they are ripe while you are there. Also watch for Grey Whales when up on the Lighthouse. You will see the spouts first. Say hi to Jack and Pat Peyton if they are there.
Jeanie and John Hoyle
It IS a gorgeous spot and the Peytons are here again this summer so I will definitely say “hi” from you!! How fun that yhou guys were also lighthouse hosts here. It’s a small world!
Jonathan and Becky says
This is our first comment even though we’ve been following your blog for over a year now. Thank you so much for inspiring us with your journey and expertise. Your photography and writing are amazing, too. After work, we always check our email to see if there are updates.
We just got our first class A gas guzzler and went down to our local camping place looking out over the lake. It was as fun as it looks on your blog.
Thanks so much for the comment. I’m so happy the blog was able to inspire you in a little way and wish you lots of fun & adventures in your new rig!!
Dear Nina & Paul
As usual I am jealous in a good way. Wind, beach, silence, peace, quiet, pet company. Nina, your photography deserves publishing. Browsing your photojournal brings me much joy.
Paul; I have MDT certification and for a moment though of contacting you, but I see that you found Directional Preference and the method to self treat, by yourself! I always have a Bounty paper towel roll around as a correct sitting posture aid. Specially in the car during long trips. Slowchy sitting is No Bueno for the spine.
Happy travels / Rick/ Houston
Thanks for the lovely comments Rick…and thanks also for the towell roll idea. We’ve been very careful to make sure Paul has proper lumbar support when he’s sitting, so that’s a good (and super-easy) tip! This is week 6 of the “back issue” and he’s doing so very much better. Still some occasional stiffness in the back, but otherwise he’s feeling really good.
Lyra Nelson says
I lived here when the Coast Guard still had a Loran Station here.
Watching the whale migration from the light or cliff is breath-taking.
Super cool!! We met another guy while we were hosting this summer who had lived here while the LORAN operated. Wish I could remember his name. More than likely you knew each other. Always love hearing from people who have a link to the lighthouse!