Lighthouse Keeper: The New Dream Job

| Posted

The email got me dreaming: Seattle mag writer Joe Follansbee sent word that his new book, the Fyddeye Guide to America’s Lighthouses, is now available. Joe, a consummate storyteller and maritime expert, has a boundless enthusiasm for these beautiful and historic beacons, as do I, after a weird and wonderful week I spent living in one as a "lighthouse keeper" a few years back.

I’ve never known a week like it. Eight of us loaded up a Suburban with seven days’ worth of supplies—because once you make the low-tide careen across the shifting sands in the custom-outfitted truck, there’s no going back until pickup time, a week later. No car, no grocery store, no errands.

Spending a week stranded at the end of Dungeness Spit near Sequim might sound like hell to some—especially when you factor in that this is a working vacation (mow the lawn, hoist the flag, polish the brass, give tours to the intrepid souls who make the 5-mile trek down the longest natural sand spit in the U.S.) and given that I paid to be there. But the gorgeous keeper’s house is packed with amenities (satellite TV, WiFi, etc.). And those sunrises—complete with cavorting seals—and the solitary walks on the beach…well, I would go back there today, if I’d thought to get a reservation in last year!

Must join New Dungeness Lighthouse Association to be a keeper; $35/year. Week’s stay is $275–$350/adult. Book well in advance;



Why Olympia's 222 Market is Worth the Trip

Why Olympia's 222 Market is Worth the Trip

Olympia’s new artisan food market puts the capital city on the culinary map
Sofie's Scoops at the 222 Market

Olympians, we apologize for invading your downtown parking. But, an artisan-style food hall like 222 Market (Olympia, 222 Capitol Way N; is an exciting destination and one we food lovers think is worth the drive.

At press time, the 15,000-square-foot building was scheduled to open in September, showcasing artisan food and beverage producers from around the Pacific Northwest, including Broth Bar By Salt Fire & Time; small-batch gelateria Sofie’s Scoops; and the city’s first oyster bar.

The 1940s-era building was originally the home of Olympia’s Packard car dealership and over the years has housed a variety of businesses. But, with renowned bakery The Bread Peddler as an anchor tenant for more than a decade, the building’s owners, Gray and Joy Graham, saw potential for a full-fledged food hall. They partnered with Olympia chef Lela Cross (co-owner of Capitale, Cielo Blu and Dillinger’s Cocktails & Kitchen) to handpick local, independent merchants, including a florist (Fleurae), and then hired green architect firm Artisans Group, which gutted and opened up the building’s interior, repurposing recycled lumber and Douglas fir into tables and countertops.

222 Market certainly plays a vital role in downtown Olympia’s revitalization, but it’s also pretty great for the destination-dining Seattleite. Here’s what to eat.

Photos: Sofie’s Scoops: Sofie Landis; Broth Bar: John Valls; Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar: Courtesy of Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar; Blind Pig Spirits and the Bread Peddler Crepe: Piper Backholm