Lighthouse Tales: A weekto travel one mile

June 14, 2007 12:00 am

Randy Ansley

When we got the word that the Del Norte County Historical Society wanted us to become their new lighthouse keepers, we were excited to pack up and make the trip to Crescent City from Denver. The lighthouse was fully furnished right down to the dishes and silverware so we just had to decide what we really wanted to keep and give away the rest. It took a couple of weeks to pack up the boxes of what we would bring with us and at the same time arrange for new homes for the other items that we did not want to move.

After we loaded up the rental truck with our treasures and hooked the car to a dolly on the back we were ready to make the trip. Driving a big old rental truck cross-country is not something one does in a hurry. Considering the hundreds of people who rented the truck before we got it was a little unnerving as we considered how sound it was mechanically. This was not going to be a drive-the-speed-limit trip.

On the road

Anyone who has driven across the country knows that coming across Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada can seem like it takes weeks. There is just not a lot to look at between the infrequent little towns where we would purchase gas and grab a bite to eat.

The cats traveled like little troopers. We thought that they would be miserable on such a long trip but they mostly slept along the way and enjoyed the frequent stops for a little kitty food and some attention from their humans. They especially liked checking out each motel room along the way. Anyone who has traveled with pets, especially cats, knows that they can be troublesome but our little girls were just wonderful on the trip.

It was as if they knew that they were going to live in a cool place for cats complete with sea gulls, a big yard to run around in and a great spiral staircase to chase each other up and down.

As we traveled across the country we looked forward to working together in a place with so much history and so much charm. We really had no idea just how much fun it would be living in a lighthouse. As we went along on our trip, it was fun just telling the people that we would meet that we were on our way to become lighthouse keepers.

One mile down

After a grueling trip cross-country that seemed to take forever, we were surprised to realize that we had only gone one mile. Denver is called the mile high city because its elevation, as stated on the 15th step of the west side of the state capitol building, is one mile above sea level.

After traveling several days through several states it turns out that we went just one mile from Denver down to sea level.

Randy Ansley, the Battery Point Lighthouse keeper, can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it