Lighthouses of Seattle and the Pacific Coast

Oregon / Washington
Sept 28 - Oct 3, 2005


I had to travel to Oregon for work again. Since my wife and I still had some vacation time left, we decided that she should come with me, and then we can head to Seattle and do some sightseeing.

September 25, 2005

I had a meeting in Hillsboro on September 26-28. My wife flew out on September 28 and arrived in Portland around 6pm. After picking her up from the airport, we grabbed some dinner, and then headed back to the hotel for the night. In the morning, we would start our trip to Seattle.

September 29, 2005

We got up this morning and were on the road by 9am heading north on I-5. We got off at US-101 and headed west. At the split, we took SR-8 for about 20 miles until the town of Elma. At this point, SR-8 ends, and US-12 continues west. We continued on US-12 until we reached Aberdeen. From here, we took US-101 across the river to connect to SR-105. We continued on SR-105 for about 19 miles, and then followed the North Spur of SR-105 into Westport. Once in Westport, we followed the signs to the Grays Harbor Lighthouse.

When we arrived at the lighthouse, it was a typical Pacific Northwest day...rainy. We parked the car, and I pulled out my Canon AE-1 camera, and started to load the film. I put the film in the bay, closed it, and pressed the shutter button to advance the film, and nothing happened. I didn't know what the problem was. I wasn't too sure what to do, but I was very angry. My wife pulled out the manual, and was looking through it, and found out there was a battery in it. I had no idea. The camera was given to me by my father-in-law, and it just always worked. Needless to say, there was no camera store in the town, so unfortunately I was stuck using my Canon point-and-shoot camera. The lighthouse was open the day we were there, but because it was rainy, they weren't letting anyone climb the tower. I did the best that I could with the camera, and we headed back towards Olympia.

One in Olympia, we hit a Target to try and find the battery. Needless to say, they didn't have one, but pointed us towards a Ritz Camera in the plaza across the street. Luckily they had just received that particular battery in earlier in the day. The guy explained to us that the camera uses the battery just to fire the aperture, and guessed that it was the original battery that came with the camera. Needless to say, we were back in business, and on our way to the next lighthouse.

Once back on I-5, we got off at exit 105 (East Bay Drive). We took East Bay Drive NE north until the split off Boston Harbor NE road. We followed that for a little bit until we saw 73rd Ave. At this point, we should have been able to see the Dofflemeyer Lighthouse (Image from US Coast Guard Archives). But after a little searching, and even asking a local, we could not find it. Since it was getting late in the day, and we were really hoping to get to Seattle, we skipped it.

From here, we followed the same roads back to I-5. From here, we headed directly to Seattle. We finally made it to Downtown Seattle and pulled into a hotel. Sure enough, the were booked solid, and had no openings. But they sent us around the corner to a Red Lion Hotel. We were able to get a room here. By now, it was just about 9PM. After checking in, we headed out to grab some dinner.

September 30, 2005

We had to check out of the hotel by 11am, but we had paid to park the car until 2pm. So we took our luggage down to the car, and then checked out. We took the camera bag, and headed up 5th Ave for a block or two. From here, we were able to walk up Westlake Ave. for several blocks to get to South Lake Union Park. Once at the park, we were able to see the Swiftsure Lightship. From here, we just started walking towards the Space Needle. After going to the top of the Needle, we walked over to Seattle Center and got on the monorail which took us to the Westlake Center where we grabbed some lunch

After this, we walked down Stewart Street towards the Pike Place Public Market. We spent some time nosing around there, and watched people order some fish at Pikes Fish Market. This is the place where they toss and catch the fish. It was very neat.

After that, we headed back up Stewart Street to the hotel to get our car. Once in our car, we made our way down to SR-99 (Alaskan Way) and headed south. We then hit the West Seattle Bridge to cross over Elliott Bay and pick up SW Admiral's Way. At 63rd Ave. SW, we took a right and headed north until we reached Alki Ave SW. We then took a left and followed this to the end. At this point, we could see the Alki Point Lighthouse. The lighthouse is not open to the public, and is tucked in behind some houses, but you can still get some good photos of it.

At this point, we reversed our directions again, and headed back towards the West Seattle Bridge and towards I-5. Once on I-5, we headed south for about 16 miles. We exited the I-5 Freeway at exit 147 (Military Road South) and headed south to S 288th Street. We made a right onto 288th Street, and followed that back to SR-99 (Pacific Highway South). We made a left onto SR-99 and went less than a half of a mile to SR-509 (South Dash Point Road). We followed this road for about 8 miles. It does eventually change names to East Side Drive NE. Once we saw Hyada Blvd. NE, we made a right. We then made a right on Wan I DA Ave NE and a quick left onto Tulalip Street NE. At the end of this road, was the Browns Point Lighthouse.

After taking a bunch of pictures there, we made our way back out to SR-509. We followed SR-509 all the way to the end, which put us onto I-705. Once on I705, we took that to I-5, which we then followed south. We stopped in Olympia for some dinner, but then continued on south towards Oregon. We returned to Hillsboro, Oregon to stay the night.

October 1, 2005

We left our hotel room, and took US-26 west towards the Pacific Ocean. Once at US-101, we took that south and stopped at Cannon Beach. Since this is the best spot to view Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, I made sure to bring my 1000mm telephoto lens. From here, we headed back to US-101, and continued south.

In the town of Tillamook, we took a right onto 3rd Street, and went about 1.75 miles and made a right onto Bayocean Road NW. We followed Bayocean road for several miles, until we saw the cut off for Cape Meares Loop. We made a left onto Cape Meares Loop, and took that into the park. From here, it was a short walk to the Cape Meares Lighthouse. The lighthouse was open, and we were allowed to climb it. The view of the ocean was spectacular as well. At this point, we again reversed our directions, and headed back to US-101 south.

In the little town of Hebo, we cut off to SR-22 and followed that to the end, which put us onto SR-18. We took SR-18 east into McMinnville. In McMinnville, we stopped at the Oregon Wine Tasting Room. We were able to taste several of Oregon's finest, and made a purchase of several to bring back to NY with us. From here, we followed SR-18/SR-99W back up to I-5. From here, it was back to Hillsboro for the night.

October 2, 2005

The trip was over. We had an early flight, so we had to get up early to get to Portland Airport by 9am.

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