One of my favorite things when traveling along the coasts of North America is stopping at the widely scattered lighthouses. Not only are they almost always placed in areas of great beauty with a long nautical history, there is just something nostalgic about them that brings you back to a less complicated time. I bumped into this lighthouse accidentally (I didn’t even know it existed) at the very southwestern tip of Washington State where the mighty Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean while traveling to Oregon to photograph the coasts.

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Cape Disappointment Lighthouse

Cape Disappointment Lighthouse

This first lighthouse in the Pacific Northwest at the mouth of the Columbia River was recommended to be built in 1848, and be located at Cape Disappointment, Washington in what was then the Oregon Territory. It was finally constructed, then officially lit on October 15, 1856 where it served for over 150 years. In 2008, the automated red and white flashing light was finally deactivated. An observation deck has been built since then for the US Coast Guard to monitor traffic and bar conditions.

Cape Disappointment Lighthouse

Cape Disappointment Lighthouse

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Rich Leighton
August 2, 2015
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