The Highland Gallery - Nature Photography by Jeff White
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Nature has never been kind to sailors navigating the waters off the coast of Washington State and Oregon. One look at the landscape will tell you why: rocky and windswept, the coast here is as treacherous as it is beautiful. For this reason, lighthouses abound in this area. North Head Lighthouse is located at the mouth of the Columbia River in Washington State. Just a few miles away is Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, which was the first in the area. Prior to its construction, many ships and lives were lost due to the high waves and shifting sandbars around the entrance to the river, which came to be known as the "Graveyard of the Pacific." To help prevent this, Cape Disappointment Lighthouse was constructed in 1856. However, the placement of this light was less than ideal, and many shipwrecks continued in the decades that followed. Finally, as a supplement to the original light, North Head Lighthouse was built in 1896. The 65-foot tall tower stands on a cliff, giving it an overall elevation of 190 feet above sea level. If you look closely at the photograph, you can see a modern beacon light, which continues to operate to this day.

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© 2006 Highland Gallery Nature Photography