But the coast was calling.......
|Bear is ready for the beach!|
I'd been itching for a trip to the beach. I enjoy walking along it's broad, sandy expanses, checking out tidepool creatures. I love photographing Oregon's scenic rocky cliffs and picturesque rocks out in the sea.
But I really didn't want to drive all the way out there only to get caught in a downpour. The weather on the coast can be 180 degrees different from what's happening in Portland. Was I willing to take the chance? After mulling it over all morning, I decided to go anyway - rain be damned!
|Lots of crab shells in the sand|
Of course, I couldn't visit the coast without bringing my dog. Even though he's slowing down in his old age, Bear has a blast running in the sand, and sniffing everything in sight. What dog doesn't love a trip to the beach?
|Bear smells the sea air|
Although the clouds threatened to dump any minute, I managed to complete the hour's drive to the coast with only a couple of brief sprinkles. Pulling into Arcadia Beach, conditions were dry for the moment.
|Abandoned crab shell|
I unloaded Bear and he gleefully commenced romping through the sand. Although low tide was still a few hours away, I noticed there were already several crab shells and broken sand dollars littering the waterline. My first photo subjects!
|North end of Hug Point sports lots of green lichen|
At the south end of Arcadia Beach lies a rocky headland that juts out into the ocean. Called Hug Point, it got it's name from early settlers that used this beach as a wagon road. At low tide, travelers had to "hug" the steep cliffs in order to pass. In the early 19th century, locals blasted a road into the rock of Hug Point, just above the waves.
|Crab legs, anyone?|
As Bear and I approached Hug Point, I noticed numerous empty crab shells littering the beach. It appeared they were left over from a huge crab feed.
At low tide, the area adjacent to Hug Point is a great place to find tidepools. As the tide was starting to go out, I did notice a couple of interesting ones, with some colorful anemone.
|Ancient wagon road at Hug Point|
Bear and I scrambled up the slippery rocks onto the ancient wagon road. The views above the crashing waves were quite nice. But we were also exposed to the wind's strong fury, so I made my passage quick.
On the south end of Hug Point were a few more tidepools, with more spiky anemones. I also spied one that had a bunch of colorful sea stars, as well as a bumper crop of neon-green anemones.
|Bear patiently waits for me to cross Hug Point|
There were lots of people on the beach south of Hug Point. A large parking area, with easy beach access helps draw the crowds. There are also numerous caves and a hidden waterfall here. About the time Bear and I reached this area, the clouds decided to let loose.
I ducked inside a cave, hoping to wait out the shower. It was a long walk back to the car, and I didn't really want to get any wetter than necessary. I lingered inside the cave for a good 10 minutes, but the rain gave no sign up letting up. I realized it was going to be a soggy return trip.
|Looking south from Hug Point|
So I stuffed my camera under my rain jacket, and began hoofing it back. Over Hug Point once more, past crowds of people heading the opposite direction. Although many visitors appeared to be seeking shelter, there were still quite a few die-hards playing on the beach, not bothered at all by the precip. Yep - I'd say they were true Oregonians!
|Sand dollar pieces|
After a wet, miserable walk to the car (taking very few photos, both due to the rain, and the dreary lighting) I decided a hot drink was in order. I drove south to the nearby town of Manzanita, hoping to score some tea. While driving around, looking for a coffee shop, I happened upon a scenic local road paralleling the beach. The vegetation growing between the beach and this road was so lush and green I just had to stop for some photographs. If it wasn't raining so hard, I would've taken camera and tripod out onto the sand and captured Neahkahnie Mountain's foggy hulk.
|Fog-shrouded Neahkahnie Mountain|
Although I didn't quite beat the rain, I'm still glad I decided to come to the coast. There's something soothing about walking along the sand, breathing the salt air, and listening to crashing waves. Kind of resets my attitude.
Hot tea in hand, and smelly wet dog in the back, I pointed my car towards home with a smile on my face. But I'll be back......the coast is calling again.
Sharing with: Our World Tuesday. and Wednesday Around the World.