8/31/2011

On The Coast Of Somewhere Beautiful In Oregon

This place is a paradise of nature. Here is Minerva looking out upon Netarts Bay.
This is Munson Creek Waterfall. It requires a quarter mile hike in and another out to visit these falls. Sadly this was a close as we could get to them since the rest of the trail was blocked off but still worth the effort since both the falls and the hike were gorgeous. We did this first thing in the morning and had no company on the trail until we were almost back to the truck.


Next up is our visit to the Air Museum. This had been recommended to us twice by people at the Evergreen Coho in Chicacum, Wa. Since we saw it on our way to the waterfall we decided to visit it on the way back. Get ready all you plane junkies!

The Air Museum is located in a World War Two blimp hanger. One of a handful still standing of the seventeen(I think that's how many I counted on the map) built. I am not going to pretend I know which planes are which but if you are a plane/WWII/Blimp buff this is a must see for you. This isn't a hands on museum as many of these planes still fly so no touching. These pictures are of just a few of the about 20-30 planes in there.

This picture will give you an idea of the size of the building. And yes those rafters are all wood. The entire building was built using just wood.
Here is the sight we see as the truck pulls away and the sight that awaits us when we return. Although that little piece of tongue sticking out is not the norm.....
Next up we decide to swing in to see our first lighthouse. First you have to hike down to the lighthouse and once again a beautiful hike. These were taken on the way down and isn't that fog gorgeous.

Now the lighthouse... which has an interesting story. The coast guard came in more than a few decades ago and automated it. Which means they stuck a new smaller light on the top of a building and left the rest alone. Over the years many people visited and, like with so many other abandoned buildings, took a few pieces of the light for themselves. When the word got out that people were investing time and money to restore the lighthouse pieces started to magically reappear. Important pieces such as the lenses.

Then in 2010 it was vandalized again by a couple of residents who lived near here. According to the volunteer taking questions at the lighthouse, these weren't your normal run of the mill vandals but respected members of the community in good standing who might have made a few questionable decisions on that fateful night. One of which was shooting a gun...the second of which was shooting the operating light, and the third.. well I think you can probably guess what led to the shooting to begin with.

So we are looking at many years of clogging the justice system, the inability to fix the lighthouse until the resolution of the trial which in turn will cause deterioration on the already messed up light house, and a lack of funds to fix the damage, the families that would be losing a livelihood because of some poor decisions. The judge on the case, who well understood the dilemma of all involved, came up with a unique resolution.

Here is my understanding of the resolution:
Instead of the 40 years in prison for a federal crime, for which we the tax payer must support them, they would spend their vacation time from work in prison. They were fined $100,000 to help repair the damages and got a heavy dose of community service. Granted the total cost to fix the lighthouse was above $250,000 but that would be to replace all the lenses. However the committee that restored the lighthouse to begin with just wanted to stabilize the existing lenses since it isn't a functioning light house. From our talk with the volunteer it seemed that most were happy with the judge's decision... except maybe the Coast Guard.

All this meant that we didn't actually get to walk up to see the lenses since it is proven that walking up the stairs causes vibrations that make small pieces fall off the lenses. However, they believe in just a few weeks it will be reopened.
The view from in front of the lighthouse.
It is amazing what the sun can do. Here are pictures taken from the same spots as on the walk down.

If you take a small hike in the opposite direction from the lighthouse (same parking lot) you will find the Octopus Tree.

These pictures where taken from the view point just past the Octopus Tree.

Here is a picture of the spit of land that separates Netarts bay from the ocean.
We took the children to play on the beach and both of them got soaked and covered with sand. As you can imagine it was quite the spectacle. Sorry no pictures of that since we don't post those online.

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