Day 763 – Lighthouses, VORs and McLoughlin
As Aimee Mann observed “i’ve always been fascinated by addiction; both as a ‘thing’ and as metaphor.” So it is with me and various flavors of navaids: lighthouses, VORs and to a lesser extent omni beacons.
Had i been born earlier i’d have applied to the Lighthouse Service Corps. I mean, aside from a smattering of really dangerous postings (Point St. George for example) it seems to me being a lighthouse keeper was a sweet deal. First and foremost you got to live in a spectacular place which could only be described in superlatives, you got your food staples and lodging provided, you were paid a modest salary but had virtually no expenses whilst on duty, when you were rotated off-duty a replacement keeper was brought in and you really were off-duty, you could have your family with you, or not. And, most importantly, you knew what your role was: keep the light, whatever it took.
VORs and other ground-based radio beacons are lighthouses of aviation, and, like the nautical lighthouses, will someday be rendered obsolete by GPS navigation. But i can recall, puttering along in my little rented Cessna 152, tuning a VOR and thinking “i’m part of a system, a system designed to tell me where i am and where i’m headed.” Direction is important.
Then of course there’s McLoughlin. I will never tire of photographing that mountain.