Thursday, August 23, 2007

Oregon Vacation

Mount Hood (45.4N, 121.7W) is the tallest mountain in Oregon (11,237 feet, 3,426 m) and popular with skiers, hikers, and climbers. It is 45 miles (75 km) east-southeast of Portland, Oregon. Mount Hood is a stratovolcano made of lava flows, domes, and volcaniclastic deposits. The main cone of Mount Hood formed about 500,000 years ago. In the last 15,000 years the volcano has had four eruptive periods.

The lighthouse was commissioned on January 1, 1890. The tower stands 38 feet high and is the shortest lighthouse in the state. It is constructed of bricks (made right on site at a cost of $2,900) with iron plates (made in Portland and shipped by wagon) covering it. The original addition that now houses the interpretive shop was built in 1895 - the current interpretive shop replaced the original work room in 1978. The light was a five wick oil lamp with a reflector to increase the light. It was turned by a 200 pound lead weight that was wound by a system similar to a grandfather clock. It turned 2 ½ hours on one winding at a pace of 7 ½ revolutions per hour. The lens and iron housing weighed two tons complete. The two lamp oil houses held 3,240 gallons of oil in five gallon cans and were located east of the lighthouse. The walls were made 15 inches thick to protect the area from the danger of fire in the buildings.