Thursday, March 28, 2013

Westport: Maritime Museum and Lighthouse

First let's stop at the Maritime Museum, which was a fun place to visit. It was built in 1939 and was originally meant to house the Coast Guard. The key attractions are the whale bones housed adjacent to the museum and is home to the Destruction Island Lens. But I enjoyed the maritime trinkets found in the museum and the throwback feel throughout it's halls.

The first room featured "beach treasures" such as glass globe floaters, trash from around the world and toys that washed up after a shipwreck.

Look! An old Jeju juice bottle on display!

Some washed up items are actual relics from Asia, and you would think someone would take the time to identify this urn as Korean or Japanese. My hypothesis is that it is Japanese.

The Maritime Museum is set up by different rooms you walk through with differing themes. One such room was meant for "local history" and featured local yearbooks.

Classic ship in a bottle... 

I liked these binoculars resting on the window in the children's educational room...

Turns out parts of Washington's west coast is famous for cranberry bogs. In fact just a bit south of Westport is a cranberry bog, but now is not the season to visit. So the museum had some cranberry artifacts.

Found a rotary phone...

Whale meat, anyone?

I would say that the best part of the museum visit was seeing the lens, which lit up the room in spectacular arrays of light.

The image you want in your mind is that this thing doesn't just stand still but is rotating, so the light is flowing around the room. I did capture video of this and hope to put it up soon. But a combination of ethereal light and the soft shifting sound of the machine's rotation made for a very pleasant atmosphere. 

Also those prisms of glass were forged long ago in Paris making this a really luxurious and lovely machine to admire. 

Let's move on to the Gray's Harbor Lighthouse, known for being the tallest in Washington State.

The lighthouse offers fun history and also a good 135 steps to the top. When looking at the lighthouse you might wonder why it's not situated near the water. This is because long ago it use be near the water but after people built the jetty's the sand built up and before long the lighthouse ended up 3,000 feet away from the shore.

Visiting the lighthouse is pretty basic, where you mostly enjoy chatting with the volunteer attendant at the bottom, then climb up and greet another volunteer who tells you more about it's history. Climbing up to the top is not so bad as there are straightaways to walk on as you go.

At the top you are presented with a lovely view of Westport and surrounding areas. Although not operational, the lighthouse has a beacon attached to it so boaters can still use it. The original lens is still inside to look at and admire.

It seemed after visiting the Museum and the lighthouse that there wasn't much left to do in Westport, but I would definitely recommend visiting as I had a thoroughly lovely time.

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