Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Oregon: Day #5 — Brookings to Newport Including the Cape Blanco Lighthouse

June 6, 2011

On day #5 of Bill's and my 2009 Oregon trip, we left Brookings (circled at the lower left) and headed for Newport (circled at the upper right) with a stop at Cape Blanco. Click once (twice is even better) on this and any of the other images to magnify them.


This volunteer guide led Bill and me up the lighthouse steps.

In July of 2009 Bill and I vacationed in Oregon for a little over a week. That summer I posted about our trip through day #4. While I don’t know if I’ll ever post about the final days of the trip, I would be remiss if I didn’t post about day #5’s Cape Blanco Lighthouse.

The lighthouse was impressive in terms of nostalgia and physics. While I’m glad to have the photos, the best way to “feel” the nostalgia is to stand next to the massive lens (in the photo immediately below) in the lighthouse and listen to the story from the heart of the volunteer guide (at right).



Bill and the volunteer guide are near the massive lens and looking out over the cape.


Although it appears both lamps are lit, only one is.


The photo immediately above shows the two lamps around which the lens rotates. The lamps are mounted on a lamp changer. While it looks like both lamps are lit (powered), at any given time only one lamp is lit. I asked Bob, a volunteer guide, why in the photo it looks like two lamps are lit. He said it is a “refractive phenomenon” in that the second bulb tends to gather light from the first bulb. (At the far left of the photo you can see a slice of the cape. Also, through the lens you can see a distorted view of the cape.)

In the case of a power outage, this curtain is pulled between the lens and the sun.


At times, a curtain is pulled between the lens and the sun. There are two reasons for this. First, if the rotation of the lens should happen to stop due to a power outage, the sun would bear on the lens all day long. The sunlight could subsequently darken the glass unevenly. Bob said this discoloration would take some time to occur, so not likely to happen to a noticeable degree with a short-lived power outage. Yet, they like to be proactive in protecting the lens.

Secondly, the sun can project a beam through the lens into vegetation in the distance. If there is a power outage and therefore the lens stops rotating, the curtain is drawn to prevent a fire (from the beam fixed like a magnifying glass on a small area of vegetation). Bob said he had volunteered at the lighthouse for about nine years and only about once a year (sometimes more often, sometimes every two years) did the rotation of the lens shut down due to a power outage.

I asked how the lamps are changed. Bob said that when the primary lamp burns out, the lamps autorotate so the secondary lamp then comes into position and is used. Also, the Coast Guard checks the lamps every ninety days. During those checks usually one or both bulbs are replaced.

When I asked about the size of the motor (visible by clicking on the first photo) that rotates the lens, Bob said he thought it was a 1/4- or 1/2-horsepower motor.

Every 20 seconds the beam of light is seen from any vantage point.


The light assembly (inside the lens) is stationary. That huge lens rotates every 160 seconds. There are 8 panels to the lens, so, from any vantage point, every 20 seconds a lens panel will align (i.e., with the viewer’s line of sight) allowing a beam of light to pass through. You can see the once-every-20 seconds visible illumination in the photo immediately above. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you can also see three of the eight vertical panels.

A Cape Blanco Lighthouse brochure* says:

Built in 1870, its light shone at a time when maritime travel was the major mode of transportation for our nation’s west coast. Today it still shines, continuing the important mission of protecting shipping and saving lives from the Cape’s treacherous offshore reef and coastal rocks.

The brochure also says:

Cape Blanco also has the distinction of being the only lighthouse in Oregon with an operational Fresnel lens that allows visitors into the lens room.

* * * * * * * *

For those planning an itinerary, in 2009 on our drive from Brookings to Newport we had Razzleberry (a combination of raspberries and marionberries) pie at the Crazy Norwegian** quaint shack-of-a-restaurant in Port Orford. Our meal there wasn’t great but we would go back for the pie and atmosphere.

In Brookings we stayed at the South Coast Inn Bed & Breakfast. If the opportunity should arise, we’d stay there again.

The posts about the first four days of our Oregon trip (plus this post) are here.

*”Cape Blanco Lighthouse” 63400-8061 (4/04) published by the Oregon State Parks

**Reviews of the Crazy Norwegian restaurant are here.

(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

4 Minor League Games in 4 Nights: Burlington Bees, Quad Cities River Bandits, Clinton LumberKings, and Cedar Rapids Kernels

July 19, 2010

Yesterday (Sunday) Bill and I returned from our self-proclaimed “baseball and crop tour.” The baseball part was all in eastern Iowa; the crop part extended into Illinois.

Each evening of this past Wednesday through Saturday, July 14th-17th, we attended a Class A minor league baseball game. The first three were along the Mississippi River; the fourth was in Cedar Rapids.

These were the Class A Midwest League standings prior to game time on Friday, July 16th. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

While our primary goals were to attend a baseball game each day and to check out crops, we also tried to dine at a brewpub each day. On Monday we intended to go to a brewpub in Fort Madison, only to find out it was closed that day. At the recommendation of a local, we ended up at The Drake restaurant on the riverfront in Burlington. For both Bill and me, the favorite meal of the trip was at The Drake. There I had the “Oak Grilled Salmon” which was delectably complemented with my side choice of risotto. Bill had the “Slow-Smoked Brisket.”

We weren’t all that wild about the beer at any of the brewpubs where we stopped, but we did like the Bier Stube Bar & Grill in LeClaire. The pretzels and beer were authentic enough to stir fond memories of Germany.

Our favorite ballpark ambience was at the Burlington Bees’ Community Field; its atmosphere came the closest to being pure baseball. Although there was a brick and mortar stadium, a sense of Field of Dreams entered our minds. We sat in the third row on the third base side. While players were on deck we could listen to them talk with each other and/or talk with spectators. We liked that the atmosphere wasn’t as commercialized as at the other three ball parks. The only drawback was that we weren’t in the shade; we were at the other ballparks. However, even though temperatures had been into the mid- (maybe upper?) 90s the evening we were at the Bees’ ballpark, with the sun at our backs and the game starting at 7:00 PM, we were comfortable.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Burlington Bees’ regular attendee, Dancing Bob. Bill and I got a kick out of watching Dancing Bob dance to just about every song played over the Bees’ PA system. According to the woman sitting in front of me, Dancing Bob attends every (or almost every?) game and, with his brother, after the games cleans up the stadium. The night we were there, throughout the game Dancing Bob was surrounded by children who danced the night away with him.

Our “worst” ballpark food was our brats at the Quad Cities game. However, in hindsight that might have been because their brats are probably more like authentic German brats (definite casing to chew through, which I’m not fond of), indicative of the German heritage in that area.

On Friday, we went to the German American Heritage Center in Davenport. We didn’t stay long but were glad we stopped. The center’s web site says, “The GAHC building was built in the 1860s, and was originally the Standard Hotel where thousands of German immigrants stayed in the 1800s when they arrived in the area.”

Admittedly, the following photos of Bill and me aren’t all that exciting or telling. Basically we have about one photo from each ballpark, except for at the Clinton stadium where the Klement’s Sausage mascots were just too funny. The following links provide team/stadium information.

Wednesday, July 14th: Burlington Bees

Bill and me before the Burlington Bees game, July 14th.


Thursday, July 15th: Quad Cities River Bandits

During the Quad Cities River Bandits game. In the background is the bridge over the Mississippi River.


Friday, July 16th: Clinton LumberKings

At the Clinton LumberKings game.


Late in the LumberKings' game when things were slow, the three (two seen in this photo) Klement's Sausage mascots were hilarious as they livened things up in the stands. (Click on photo to enlarge.)


Saturday, July 17th: Cedar Rapids Kernels

In the 9th inning of the Cedar Rapids Kernels game.


(Click here to go to Louise Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

The Tip Top Motel & Cafe (at Lihu’e on Kaua’i)

February 20, 2010

(Click here to go to this blog’s home page.)

I have another 1940s-Pocahontas-grain-elevator story, but I don’t have it ready to go yet. However, when I do post it, you’ll find it is just a t-a-d, very loosely related to the post below.

* * * * * * * *

Banana pancakes with "homemade kettle cooked Guava Pineapple Jam" at the Tip Top Cafe, Lihu'e, Hawaii. (Click photo to "t-a-s-t-e"!)*

Three days ago Bill and I returned from a business trip to Hawaii.  Our Oahu destination was predetermined. We also fit in a day-trip to Kaua’i. Our Valentine’s Day trip involved an approximately 100-mile, 30-minute-each-way round trip flight from Honolulu (Oahu) to Lihu’e (Kaua’i).

When we arrived at Lihu’e around 9:00 AM, Bill and I asked the airport shuttle driver and also the car rental attendant where we should have breakfast. (After all, the best people to ask for advice are the locals.) The first (actually only) recommendation given by each was Lihue’s Tip Top Cafe.  What a great recommendation.

I rarely have pancakes…not because I don’t like them, but because of how I feel after I eat them.  I am so glad I ate the banana pancakes with guava pineapple jam at the Tip Top Cafe.  Mmmm, mmmm, good! I hate to admit it, but I also doused my pancakes with coconut syrup. Um, and added a little bit of maple syrup, too. Soooo good. (And, my tummy felt fine afterward.)

(Did you click on the photo yet?)

* * * * * * * *

*Photo-posting permission is granted by Jonathan who runs the cafe that was started in 1916. Because the cafe is now combined with a motel, it is also referred to as the “Tip Top Motel & Cafe.”

(Click here to go to Louise Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

Oregon: Day #4 — The Natural Bridges (and a little of Day #5)

October 11, 2009

(Click here to go to this blog’s home page.  Previous posts about Oregon are in this blog’s “travel” archives.)

Click map to enlarge.

Click map to enlarge.

On the map at the left, the green marker line shows our day #4 route from Oregon’s Brookings to Gold Beach and then back to Brookings. We spent night #3 and night #4 (July 19th and 20th) in Brookings.





Click photo to enlarge.

Click photo to enlarge.

In the photo at the left I believe Bill and I are at the Pistol River State Park near the mouth of the Pistol River.  It was quite foggy on our day #4 drive, making it difficult to have a clear view of many of the sights, but still very worth the drive.  On day #5 (July 21st) we backtracked, once again driving north from Brookings on a much clearer day. more…

Oregon: Day #3 — The Rogue River Gorge (and a Brewpub)

September 30, 2009
IMG_2382 cro 800

Click to enlarge.

(Click here to go to this blog’s home page, or here for previous posts about Bill’s and my Oregon travels.)

The Rogue River originates at Crater Lake National Park.  It then twists, and sometimes rages (for example, through the chasm as explained and pictured below), as it winds its way to the coast at Gold Beach, Oregon. more…

Oregon: Day #3 — Crater Lake to Brookings

September 28, 2009

(Click here to go to this blog’s home page.)

For previous posts about Bill’s and my July trip to Oregon, visit the “travel” category archive.

On day #3, Bill and I drove from Crater Lake to Brookings.  At the recommendation of the locals, we dipped down into California as opposed to taking a windy slower route through the mountains.

Click photo to enlarge.

On Sunday, July 19th, after investigating Crater Lake, Bill and I drove to Brookings, Oregon.  Early in the drive we checked out several views of the upper Rogue River.  Then we had lunch at a brewpub in Grants Pass.

At the recommendation of several Oregonians, to avoid a windy, slow drive west over the mountains, we briefly dipped into California.  By doing so we were able to see a few redwoods.  Then we headed north back into Oregon, arriving at Brookings where we stayed the third and fourth nights of our trip.

What I remember most from this day (besides the intense blue of Crater Lake) was the rugged power of the upper Rogue River.

Within the next day or two, I’ll post photos and more information about the upper Rogue River and the brewpub.

(Click here to go to this blog’s home page.)

Oregon: Day #3 — Crater Lake (Part II)

September 14, 2009

To view the previous posts about Bill’s and my July trip to Oregon, at this blog’s home page, click on the “travel” category.

* * * * *

Crater Lake, a short distance to the west of Crater Lake Lodge.

The south side of America's deepest lake, Crater Lake (1,943 feet deep). This photo was taken a short distance to the west of Crater Lake Lodge.

more Crater Lake photos…

Oregon: Day #3 — Crater Lake

September 11, 2009

(Click here to go to this blog’s home page.)

IMG_2240 crater lake 1400

From our lodge room looking north, the Crater Lake sunrise. 5:53 A.M. Sunday, July 19th. (Click photo to enlarge.)


Oregon: Day #2 — Crater Lake Lodge

September 10, 2009

(Click here to go to this blog’s home page.)

The Moon Oregon handbook * says about Crater Lake Lodge, “The lodge is situated on the rim south of the Sinnott Overlook and is hewn of indigenous wood and stone.  The massive lobby boasts a picture window on the lake and has decor echoing back to its 1915 origins.  The stone fireplace is large enough to walk into….”  (The lodge is not labeled, but is on the south side of the lake on this map.)

Below are my photos of the interior of Crater Lake Lodge.  The lodge’s web site has many more photos (interior and exterior) which do the lodge more justice than my photos do.

IMG_8507 C Lk Lodge main 1000

Great Hall (Click photo to enlarge.)

At the left is Crater Lake Lodge’s Great Hall.  The doors toward the upper right lead to the dining room.  Outside the doorway at the upper left is a terrace overlooking Crater Lake.  The terrace runs the full length of the lodge, including along the Great Hall and dining room. more…

Oregon: Day #2 — Bend, Oregon, to Crater Lake Lodge

September 2, 2009

(Click here to go to this blog’s home page.)

IMG_2218 fire Bill 800

Bill standing along Highway 138 in Oregon's Pumice Desert. On July 3rd, this Desert Ridge wildland fire was ignited by lightning. (Click photo to enlarge.)

After our July 18th post-rafting lunch in Bend, Oregon, Bill and I headed south to our final destination of the day — Crater Lake.  Or, more specifically, Crater Lake Lodge.

Going south on Highway 138 we saw what we soon learned was the Desert Ridge wildland fire. more…