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Northern Exposure

Start your adventure in the northern coast at Cape Meares Lighthouse, a few miles west of Tillamook, where you can tour the cheese factory and fortify yourself with a scoop of ice cream. Visitors to Cape Meares can climb the circular stairway inside the stubby tower—at 38 feet it’s the shortest in Oregon. And with waves crashing below the 217-foot cliff, a coastal panorama spread out for miles and marine wildlife squawking at the nearby Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge, the view from the little guy is terrific.

Here, volunteers will give you the condensed version of Lighthouses 101. They’ll tell you that the beehive-shaped leaded crystal lenses were the 1822 invention of a French physicist, Augustin Fresnel, and were designed to throw light about 20 miles to the horizon. In

early days, the light source was a big kerosene lamp with four or five wicks. Vigilant keepers tended the lamp all night. The keepers and their families had their own gardens and livestock and were self-sufficient. They had to be. A supply ship stopped only every few months to deliver essentials, including a fresh box of books—those long nights in the lighthouse could be pretty boring!

Cape Meares was constructed in 1888. It is the shortest lighthouse on the Oregon Coast, with a 38-foot tower.
Cape Meares was constructed in 1888. It is the shortest lighthouse on the Oregon Coast, with a 38-foot tower



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Source: Travel Oregon,magazineUSA.com
Last modified: 20080806
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