Exploring Piedras Blancas Pt 2: The Lighthouse and outbuildings

The third (and final) entry about Piedras Blancas is again devoted to the awesomeness of the landscape there. The spit of land that the BLM manages is dominated by the impressive form of the lighthouse and its outbuildings.

The lighthouse itself is one of only a few buildings on the property that stands exactly as it did when constructed, the old houses that were built to house the operators and their families are long gone, replaced by more functional buildings to house research staff and the BLM employees that are charged with the area’s upkeep.

On the right are the remaining historic buildings, forgive me for forgetting what purpose they served when they were originally erected, they now house tools needed for the properties upkeep, the BLM’s offices, and (of course) a gift shop. On the left are the aforementioned apartments for researchers and employees. They were remarkably swanky.

Other buildings housed the artifacts that the tours use to teach people about the area with. Including some rather threatening looking casts of skulls.

Guess which one belongs to an Elephant Seal.

Hint: This one.

Another section of the property was given over to housing the bones from a whale that had washed ashore years before.

Shame on me for taking a picture without including an object of a known size to set the scale. Lets just leave it at “the jaw bones from this whale were about the same size as I am”

While bones are great and all, I can’t help but think that most people visit this place for the lighthouse. And with good reason.

My kingdom for a Tilt/shift lens.

The original mirrored reflector has been removed in favor of an ultra-bright modern light bulb that spins (yes, the lighthouse is still functional). Otherwise however, the lighthouse functions much the same as it used to. Going to the top was a real treat, although slightly nerve wracking (a few of the stairs to the top are cracked).

There are a few seals visible on the beach if you look.

Again, looking closely you can see a wide range of marine mammals relaxing on the rocks far below.

I have dozens more pictures like these, I really couldn’t get enough of the white rock itself. Unfortunately a picture can’t capture the sound of the place, when seals and sea lions decide to be verbal, the effects are immediate and impossible to ignore.

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Posted on March 19, 2012, in Piedras Blancas and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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