Sunday, August 8, 2010

National Lighthouse Day- guest blogger

In honor of National Lighthouse Day- August 7th,  I am honored to have an article by Pam Ripling a self pro-claimed Lighthouse Nut and the author of two wonderful lighthouse mysteries. Pam writes about west coast lighthouses and I am sure you will enjoy hearing about these lighthouses that she has visited and viewing her photographs.

Thank you Pam for your article and I look forward to having you as a frequent guest blogger!

West Coast Sentinels

by Pam Ripling

No one can dispute that the East and West Coasts vary greatly in their terrain. Overall, it would be safe to say the West has an edge on rocky cliffs, while the East flattens out nicely in more areas. Still, both shores warrant protection!

I've yet to visit the lovely, silent sentinels of the East; I'm still making my way through the
beautiful beacons here on the Pacific coast. Here are a few I'd like to share with you.

Pt. Vicente Lighthouse

Certainly one of the more architecturally classic, this tall, white piece of chalk is visitor friendly and easy to access—but only on the second Saturday of the month. Guarding the Palos
Verdes Peninsula from the northern end of the Catalina Channel, this stately tower is still an
active aid to navigation and is operated by the United States Coast Guard. Admission is free,
and yes, you can go up the spiraling steps, although the actual lantern is chained off at the
very top. (And if you know how much it costs to repair a Fresnel lens, you'll understand why!)

The grounds are well maintained, and the Coast Guard personnel are friendly. Photo opps
abound. For more information, visit their site:

Battery Point Lighthouse

This is a delightful "little" lighthouse located in Crescent City, California. Big on tourist attention, the volunteer "keepers" give tours of this light station built right into the center of the home. The lighthouse sits on a tiny islet at the northernmost point of the harbor, and is water-locked during high tide. This requires visitors to pay attention to the tidal charts or risk being stranded!

Here, you can follow docents all the way up into the lantern room and experience the vastness
of the Pacific Ocean around you. There is a fabulous story of the then-lighthouse keepers'
experience the night a tsunami struck Crescent City in 1964. You can read their amazing tale at
Lighthouse Friends. Leave time to peruse their wonderful gift & book shop, just inside the front door. (I didn't have nearly enough time, because the tide was coming in!)

Pt. Cabrillo Lighthouse

Sitting alone just north of Mendocino, California, Point Cabrillo is another charming house-
based light. Just off Highway 1, the parking is easy to access but from there you must walk
probably ¾ mile to the actual site. The tower was chained off when I was there, but they have
a great little gift shop and museum. This is also an active lighthouse, owned by the California

State Coastal Conservancy.

Also on the grounds are the Head Lighthouse Keeper's house and cottages for rent. Lovely
buildings, inside and out. More at Point Cabrillo.Org!

Next time I visit, I'll be talking about a pair of truly unique, off-shore California lighthouses!

Pam Ripling, who also writes as Anne Carter, is a self-proclaimed Lighthouse Nut and the
author of Beacon Street Mysteries
SURRENDER, also for your nook, iPhone, Sony eReader
and other formats at Omnilit.
Visit Pam/Anne at Beacon
Street Books.