Daily Life At Cape Blanco
To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night: to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring… these are some of the rewards of the simple life. (John Burroughs)
Our daily life is mosey’ing along here at Cape Blanco and for today’s post I thought it would be fun to share some daily pics and impressions from our first few weeks here. You could call it the more mundane side of life, or perhaps the more true. It does not make it any less interesting, or less rewarding which is perhaps why it’s worth a share.
First of all the weather has been pretty darn spectacular, which is kind of what you expect this time of year. September is simply put one of the nicest months to be on the Oregon coast. It starts to cool off enough (inland) that you don’t get much fog, it’s dry enough that you don’t get much rain and the temps hover almost constantly around a pleasant 65-70°F (~18-21°C). It’s the lull of the change of seasons, the calm before the onset of the winter storms, and the silence before the winds shift their direction and start howling from the south.
We typically start the day with a long walk in the woods with doggie, sometimes taking the mile or so trail down to the southern beach for a good sand-romp. If we’re working morning shift at the lighthouse we’re at the gates of the grounds at 9:45am, while on afternoon shifts we’ll arrive to relieve the lighthouse hosts at 12:30pm. Most days we get around 100-150 visitors on a steady trickle, although we’ll occasionally have unusual downsides or “rushes” especially right around the 3:15pm last ticket sales call (what is it about closing time that always brings the rush?). By 4pm everyday we’re home and lounging in our spacious and private RV site.
It’s easy, pleasant work and almost everyone who comes to see us (with very few exceptions) loves being there and learning about the lighthouse. I still enjoy the history and I still get a rush (even 3 years later) from the first “wow” when folks see the gorgeous Fresnel lens in the tower. It’s a piece of pure art up there.
The nature here is something I’ve described in lots of previous posts, but it’s gorgeous enough to be worthy of an encore. Cape Blanco sticks out like a lonely thumb into the Pacific Ocean, so far out in fact that it’s very close to being the westernmost point in the lower 48 (Cape Alava in WA technically beats us). This leaves it very exposed and very wild. On foggy days it closes in to a complete whiteout, so dense you can breathe the moisture in the air, while on sunny days you can see the cape stretch off into what seems like infinity, her sides curving from the point like the seductive outline of a rubenesque woman.
The lighthouse stands proud and bare on top of the cliffs, guarding the point in all her glory and flashing her guiding light through day and night. In the campground thick forest trails and undulating hills bound the landscape while at the base of the cliffs sandy beaches glimmer for miles with nary a person on them. To top it all off huckleberry bushes burst almost everywhere with sweet, purple treats (there are literally so many, I’m seriously tempted to rename this place Huckleberry Heights).
Towards evening we take a tasty beverage and usually wander on down around 40 feet to an open overlook (our sunset viewing spot) for the last rays of the day. Here we’ll often be joined by campers and fellow hosts to chat and socialize, exchanging stories and impressions from our day. In between all these adventures we work on the blog, BBQ, shop at farmer’s markets, take out the cats & just generally go about life.
And that’s what we do, folks….Hike, lounge, work, volunteer, relax and sunsets. It may be a simple life, but that does not make it any less rewarding.
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
Furry Gnome says
What a life! So great to live it vicariously through your writing and pix!
I can feel the envy oozing out of my pores. Your lyrical description of the place and its beauty only makes it worse. And your pictures of the lighthouse are simply fantastic. I can hardly stand this and it’s all your fault. 🙂 At least have a fabulous, wonderful, exquisite time for me too.
Awww…thanks Sherry. And we will indeed!
Roman & Kathy n Mesa AZ says
Paul and Nina, was nice to meet and chat with the both of you a bit this past Sunday, prior to the lighthouse tour, which we really enjoyed. As mentioned, Kathy and I can now really appreciate the “wow factor” of Cape Blanco, of which you have described well. Been reading your posts for quite a while, and its great information that the both of you are sharing. I did get a couple of great pictures, one of the both of you and one of scenic drive to the Cape for you to share on your blog, if you wish to. Would like to email them to you, please advise accordingly. At the end of the tour, mentioned to Paul that if your ever in the Phoenix / Mesa area, you have to stop by and let us grill you some of the best bratwust and 1/3 pound dinner franks (made by our local butcher) you will ever taste, grilled to perfection (along with my specially prepared and grilled saurkraut) followed by Kathy’s home made Reeses peanut butter bars. Of course, there would be no shortage of brewski’s to go along with the brats. Thanks again for all the info and effors of “Wheeling It” regards… Roman and Kathy
It was wonderful to meet you too! I’ll send you an e-mail for the pics.
Roman and Kathy says
Be glad to share the pics with you and feel free to post on your blog.
Roman and kathy
Lee and Shelia says
Patricia Davidson says
You are so right. September and October are the best times on the Oregon Coast. I love the falls season here. I talked with you last year about coming down there from Coos Bay to meet you, but it didn’t work out. Would love to try and get down there one of these weekends while you are still there. Love your blog. Thanks for posting such useful information!
You’re definitely welcome to come down and visit! We have a few other local friends in the area, and we try to get together with them when we can. I’ll e-mail you.
Your pictures are amazing. Love the one of the window! You’re living my dream. Waiting for my house to sell, seems like it’s taking forever. Then I’m heading on the road with my three girls. Live the blog, I’ve gathered so much info. From you. Keep up the good work!
I had fun with those HDR pics. Inside the lighthouse tends to lend itself well to those kind of photos.
We would love to see you here at Bullards. Let us know what will work for you. On to the next CHAPTER in our life. A break from hosting. Have had a great time here. We will leave oct. 1st. Enjoy!
I’ve been wanting to see you guys too, but haven’t made it much out of Cape Blanco (except for a few quick pre-work shopping runs to Bandon). We might come up early next week for a more relaxed visit, so I’ll let you know if we do.
Quite jealous and can’t wait to start our adventures shortly. Yet we are at Highland Hammock SP near Sebring, FL with our 18 month old grandson. It ia a very rainy weekend so our joy this weekend is stealing him from his mother (our daughter) ! Watch it, I am coming to steal your job in a few years. Take care.
I’ve heard it’s been a particularly rainy fall in FL. Hope it clears up a bit and you get a nice winter. And no worries about stealing our job…I kind of expect that to happen 🙂
Hey, next 3 trips are to the keys ending with a week at Sunset Key for thanksgiving. Diving, snorkeling, and kayaking 🙂
It’s been YEARS since I’ve been snorkling. That’s something I definitely miss. Enjoy! I’ll be coming over there to steal your campsite before too long…:)
Michael Kuper says
Have you picked the huckleberries? They’re a favorite of mine. Last season Donna made awesome huckleberry pancakes and muffins.
Oh you bet ya! In fact I’ve been gorging myself on huckleberries almost every day. And that includes huckleberry pancakes too!
Solution to the mad rush at 3:15pm: change last call to 3:10, mwahaha 😉
Very sneaky…but we’re too “goodie-two-shoes” for that one 🙂
I agree, living a simple life is a satisfying life, and not complaints despite any challenges along the way. Now we know where we will be in September in a couple of years.
I’ve got you hooked I see 🙂 It would be great to see you out here again.
Love your blog and am living vicariously until I can convince the hubs to do indefinitely wander.
But my question is, “take out the cats”? Perhaps a future blog post on what kitty life is like on the road?
You’ve inspired me to write a post. Just published it today 🙂
I truly love the simple things in life…you can’t beat them…wonderful photos….one of my favorite subjects…sunset…never tire of it or the photos of them…no two are ever alike…I would never describe your “typical” day at Cape Blanco as mundane…it is anything but mundane…it is life in it’s simplest form and it suits you both…
Yup, enjoyment of the simple things in life is key to enjoyment of life itself. At least that’s my point of view. You guys live it too!
Dawn from Camano Island says
LLove your photos, Nina! The two of you have a special talent for finding the most idyllic volunteer gigs! Well done!
Thanks Dawn. We do our best.
Susan wade says
I have been following you two for months; the pics, info and comments are fantastic. Recently, I have been looking into blogging and want to say that your blog is AMAZING. So much information, insight and commentary; sooo much work!!! You are a major resource for me as well as a blogger inspiration. Best to you both. Susan
Appreciate the compliment Susan. It does take some effort/time to blog. I think most people don’t realize until they start to do a blog themselves. Good luck w/ all your blogging efforts!
For sure a rewarding life, as you choose to fully live it. Am jealous about the huckleberries.
I’m in huckleberry heaven right now. Cannot believe how many there are around here. They seem to be limited to the Cape too. Further inland I don’t see them as much.
Ah, nothing better than the simple life. I can’t imagine anyone stating it better than you have Nina. Enjoy your remaining time at Cape Blanco.
Thanks Lu. I know you two share exactly the same philosophy as us.
Everyone strives to have a more rewarding but simple life. That’s why we love your blog in addition to all the beautiful photos and the journey to the places you visit.
I do believe a simple life is a rewarding one….if you can let go of the complexities if life (sometimes easier said than done). Thanks for the compliment 🙂
Jodee Gravel says
Love the opening quote. Simply enjoying the day, the surroundings, the pace….perfect.
That quote had been hanging around in my mind for a while. I’m glad I was finally able to write a post that complimented it.
Vivian van Dijk says
Nothing is better than a huckleberry pie. I have a six inch pie dish I use to make pies for just the two of us. And when there are bunches of berries, I freeze them for later.
Mmmm…yes, huckleberry pie. The only problem is that it takes several hours of picking to get enough of those sneaky little berries. AND that’s not helped by the fact that half of them invariably end up eaten before they even make it past your hand 🙂
Sounds pretty perfect to me!
Oh yes, the beauty of simple living! As long as it’s a simple life filled with time in nature and friends, I’m happy. I enjoyed your description of your daily life.
John and Pam Wright says
What a wonderful life! So glad you are having a enjoyable experience and best of all that your weather has been cooperating. Beautiful ocean and sunset photos:)
Sherry in MT says
NEVER mundane! Your photos and descriptions are really almost poetic!
Love berries! I have a berry smoothie for breakfast every day and the best ones are made with fresh picked berries.
Ed @ Chasing Sunrises and Sunsets says
Spendng summers in Portland in my youth, the “babysitter” for my mom was to drop me off at one of many rasberry farms. I’d spend most of the day picking for a paltry sum. Of course, we were allowed to eat all we wanted. I got so sick. It’s amazing that today, I actually love most every type of berry…including rasberries.
Just picked up a copy of a Sunset Magazine Best Weekend Getaway trips, and Cape Blanco was mentioned. Expect to see visitors!
Karen Boisvert/ RI says
We are planning to visit the Oregon and Washington coast in 2017 so it was interesting to read your blog. I was wondering what you thought of our chances to snap a spot at the NPS campground Mora near Realto Beach, which is first come first serve on like JUly 5?
My advice would be to try and get there a few days before or right after for the best chance. July 4th is always full. Afterwards it usually eases up.