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Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Lighthouse

Ian loves lighthouses. He's fascinated with them and has asked us many times if we could visit a real lighthouse. We always promised that someday we would, thinking they would involve a long trip. Just this week I realized that there is a lighthouse only 45 minutes away from our house. Today we made the short trek to Westport to visit the lighthouse. Ian was so excited. He got out the dollars from his piggy bank so he could buy a souvenir and packed his camera so he could take pictures.
It was cool and misty when we arrived, but we took pictures from the road and then walked to the lighthouse. We walked the five flights of spiral staircase to the top. Ian was very nervous about the stairs, but he did a pretty good job. I went in front of him and Colin went behind. At the top we saw the lens and were able to look outside and see the ocean. The lighthouse isn't right on the ocean any more. The ocean has brought sand to the shore and now it's about a 1/2 of a mile from the water. They no longer use the lens, but the coast guard still uses the lighthouse. They have a beacon light set up on the outside upper railing.
Coming down the stairs was even scarier for Ian, but he did a great job! After we left the lighthouse, I wanted to go down to the beach. Colin wasn't really wanting to go, but we went and after we got almost to the beach, it started pouring down rain and we had to make a dash back to the van. Well, Colin and dashed and I walked, I figured I was pretty wet already so it really didn't matter. By the time I got closer to the van it was only sprinkling, so Ian and I stopped for a minute to take his picture by a big driftwood log.
After our beach misadventure we headed to the Maritime Museum in Westport and saw lots of old boating equipment and cranberry harvesting equipment (that's right, cranberries grow in Washington) and then we got to see a huge lens from a lighthouse located on Destruction Island. I took pictures, I'll try to post some. The lens are amazing. They are made with prisms to use the light to their best advantage. In the Grays Harbor lighthouse we learned that they keep curtains up during the day because the sun shining through the prisms could cause a serious fire.
We had a great day making one of Ian's wishes come true and we learned some new things!

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