Friday, April 13, 2007

A Visit to a Ghostly Place...

The Cape Arago Lighthouse; easy to see, hard to get to...

I've been trying to get near this lighthouse for a long time. I've seen just about every lighthouse on the Oregon Coast; I've toured several of them. So it's ironic that the nearest lighthouse to where I live is just about totally inaccessible. Of course, when you find that you can't do something, well, that makes you want to do it that much more badly. I've been up and down the coastal road that goes past this lighthouse, but since there is no public access, you can't get much closer than a mile or two from it. I am not kidding, this lighthouse is THAT remote.

But I tried again today to go see it. There is a small dead-end road called "Lighthouse Way" that leads up to the lighthouse grounds, but there's a fence going across the road and signs blaring out with large typography, 'NO PUBLIC ACCESS'. So I went off-road, hiking on trails which I thought would lead me to some vantage point near the lighthouse. Well, I'm no world-famous explorer, and as such, I didn't realize that, as I walked the paths in the densely wooded coastal forest, that I was actually going around in a big circle; I'd walked almost back to the place I'd started walking from!

I came across a teenage couple who were walking around in the area, and they showed me around. Luckily, the teenage boy had once lived in a house near the lighthouse grounds. We navigated around that fence (I was looking all around for the 'fence police'; paranoid me...) and all of a sudden, THERE IT WAS. The Cape Arago lighthouse is on a big rock, offshore, and it's only accessible by a long wooden bridge about 50 feet above the water. And, there's a locked gate leading to the bridge. I felt like Moses, gazing out across the "promised land", knowing I'd never be able to climb the gate (which was about 10 feet high) and actually walk up to the lighthouse. But, I was closer than I'd ever been. And that was just fine, thank you.

I took a few pictures, but they didn't turn out too well because it was overcast, which means the sky and the ocean were a dismal gray; this is a photo taken from; but I did stand at the spot this picture was taken from. You can see the lighthouse sitting on the big rock, and in-between the tree in the foreground, and the lighthouse itself, there are steep cliffs which tumble into the water below. And I was happy to get this close. And, I was surprised to find that on the bluff where I was standing, sits a Native American Cemetery...gravestones near a steep cliff overlooking the ocean. Wow.

And I'll tell ya what...on the next clear day, I'm goin' back out there to really enjoy the place. As I stood on the rocky bluffs today, looking at the lighthouse and that cemetery, the wind was whipping 35-to-40 mile-an-hour gusts; and for a moment I felt as if I were standing on the edge of the world. But, I was sure lucky to meet that young couple that showed me this place. I guess I'm fast getting to know this area about as well as one of the locals now. Today, April 13th, marks exactly 4 months since I've moved here. And so the adventures continue.


One last Imus Scandal observation: I am just totally flabbergasted at the rapid demise of Don Imus, and in a way, it's a tragedy, for he brought clarity to the political scene. He did it with forthrightness, humor, a quirky point of view, in a totally original manner. And, we've all lost something here. For, whether you ever watched Imus or not, we've come one step closer to becoming a totally featureless society, where people can't be themselves without having someone throw sticks and stones, and then stamping their feet to ram the point home. We're only human. And we make mistakes. And Imus, in hindsight, made a HYOOOGE one. I was watching his program a week ago when he said that, and frankly, the comment just sailed over my head. In hindsight, though, I can see how people were offended.

In this world, we never quit learning about each other, and this thing called life can be difficult to navigate through at times. I am extremely taken aback by the harshness of the news media that reported this; how eagerly they reported, indeed, almost celebrated, the demise of, basically, one of their own. And, as far as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are concerned, I can't stand either of those two blowhards. I am not kidding; I hit 'mute' every time I see 'em on TV. There was something almost pathological behind Sharpton's repeated outcries for Imus' dismissal. Isaac Hayes, the singer/songwriter once recorded an album titled "Black Moses"; I wonder if Sharpton hopes his listeners will think of him as such, after this Imus thing?

I remember the good old days when it took a few years for a scandal to evolve from rumor and innuendo into absolute banishment (a la Watergate)...the drama used to hang on for a LONG time. So, I am amazed at the speed of this Imus scandal; I suppose things like that happen when your 15-minutes of fame expands to a lifetime's worth...sooner or later yer gonna fall, and Imus is gone. And, in a week's time, Imus lost both his TV and radio gigs; indeed, I heard several radio news broadcasts today that didn't even mention him. So it's on to the next big scandal or news story (sometimes it's hard to distinguish between the two). In a perfect world, someone would dig up some kinda juicy scandal involving Mr. Sharpton, who rode the anti-Imus bandwagon for all it was worth; I find Sharpton's exhortations as offensive in their own way as Don Imus' comments were. And, seeing what's happened to Don Imus, well, someone else can have my "15 minutes". I'll just lay low. It's safer that way.


After hearing about all of this scandal-stuff, don't ya just wanna go sit on a rock somewhere, gaze out over the water and think to yerself, "I'm sure glad I'm here, leading my own insignificant little life"?


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