We’re giving you an opportunity to scratch a biggie off your bucket list.
Here’s the deal. I’m going to give you a few facts, a few links and a bunch of photos. Then you can drift away with your active fantasy about the romantic solitude manning a lighthouse provides.
The dream starts here: YOU CAN VOLUNTEER as a keeper. Yes, you heard me!
I want to thank Wren Hudgins for his generosity in sharing his photos and experience. He and his wife spent one week on the Dungeness Spit New Lighthouse with two other couples. This program is one of the few in the United States that allows short stays of a week. It was so great – they already signed up for another week in 2018. Yeah- sign me up, too!
How do you get out to the lighthouse carrying a week’s worth of food? (City-Folk Alert: Domino’s does not deliver.) Volunteers drive you out to the lighthouse and give you a tour of the bedrooms, kitchen and review the daily duty roster.
At the Dungeness Spit New Lighthouse, you volunteer with two other couples. Here we see them completing one of the daily tasks: walking the spit and collecting debris.
While the duties are the same year round, you may want to consider how you want to spend your time. During the winter, with less visitors, you give fewer tours and have more “alone time.” For the extrovert, manning the lighthouse during the summer allows more interaction with the sturdy hikers who walk down the five mile sand spit to tour the lighthouse.
Dungeness Spit is also a Wildlife Refuge. According to the Olympic Peninsula Washington State site, it is home to over 250 species of bird, 41 land mammals and 8 sea mammals. Wren, an avid birder, finished his North America Bird book and also noted that harbor seals, sea lions and coyotes were spotted during their stay.
From 1857-1976, Dungeness Lighthouse was manual work for the Keepers. Warning Seafarers with lights and fog horns meant many sleepless nights through deadly Pacific storms.
“Where is this Dungeness Spit?” You ask. Located in the northwest corner of Washington State, the spit juts out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and is just minutes from Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula.
There you have it – your dream in a blog. Let us know if you go for it and what your experience was like. We’d love to hear about it!