Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Yet Another Coastal Tour

I've been everywhere, man!  Or so it seemed, the day I decided to take another coastal tour.

Three Arch Rocks

It was early July.  Although my foot was healing nicely from mid-June's unexpected pin removal surgery, it wasn't quite trail-ready.  But after sitting home all of July 4th's three day weekend, I was itching to go somewhere.  My alternate "gimpy foot" excursion destination?  The Oregon coast of course!

Tunnel through Maxwell Point

I'd already logged more coastal visits in 2015 than the previous five years combined.  Why not go for the gusto?

Tunnel Beach

My grand plan was to arrive by mid afternoon, hang out on a beach for awhile, have a seafood dinner in some cute local restaurant, and wait for a fabulous ocean sunset.  Of course, things don't always work out the way you imagined.....

Lots of scenic sea stacks

I arrived at the tiny town of Oceanside to cloudy, dreary weather.  The washed-out skies produced terrible light for photography.  Although this time I was able to see the famous Three Arch Rocks from the beach (last time I was foiled by fog) all my photos were turning out drab and colorless.

Barnacle-crusted rock

Although the skies were blah, I did happen to catch the coastline at low tide.  One of the cool things about Oceanside's beach is the existence of a sturdy concrete tunnel through Maxwell Point, an adjacent headland.  Accessible during low tides, this passageway leads vistiors to a secret seashore on the opposite side, christened by the locals simply "Tunnel Beach."

Up close barnacles

It had been many, many, many years since I'd ventured to this side of the headland.  Popping out of the tunnel, I was pleasantly surprised.  The rolling surf was dotted with several small sea stacks, artfully arranged along the sand.  I'd forgotten all of this was here.  Some interesting photo subjects after all!

Young people playing in the surf

So I spent some time roaming around Tunnel Beach, taking copious images of it's very photogenic sea stacks.  A large number of people had also navigated the tunnel, and were walking the beach, or hanging out amidst the rocks.  One group of young adults were even frolicking in the Pacific's chilly waters.

Another scenic view

After awhile I tired of the crowds, and decided to check out another location.  Returning to my car, I headed up the road to nearby Cape Meares.

Ocean cove at Cape Meares

Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint boasts impressive tall ocean cliffs, a cute historic lighthouse, and fantastic ocean views.

View from the lighthouse

I'd traveled here in late January, and had the place nearly all to myself.  Of course, on a Friday in midsummer things were quite a bit different.

Cape Meares Lighthouse

Wowza were there people!  Crowds of visitors lingered everywhere.  Although you can't tell in these photos, I had to wait for long periods of time to get a clear shot.

Cute lighthouse flag

But the Cape Meares Lighthouse was still charming as ever.  And the view from it's perch as lovely as I'd remembered.  The caretakers had even added a cute little lighthouse banner to it's flagpole.

Bob Straub State Park

But having my fill of crowds, I decided to go south in search of a quieter seashore.  Heading towards Cape Lookout, I was distracted by a seafood restaurant on Netarts Bay, and ended up taking an early pit stop for dinner. 

After a bite of greasy fish and chips, (not the best I've ever had) I continued my drive southbound.  Following the Three Capes Scenic Route, the road led me past Cape Lookout State Park.  When it appeared I'd have to do some walking for the views here, I kept on going.

View of Cape Kiwanda

The Three Capes Scenic Route ended up in Pacific City at Cape Kiwanda.  A popular beach I'd visited earlier this year, it was full of weekend guests.  Continuing through town, I spied a sign for Bob Straub State Park.  Now there was a place I'd never been before.

Footprints in the sand

Pulling into the parking lot, only a handful of cars had claimed spaces.  Climbing up over a large dune, I came upon a very scenic sandy beach.  At that moment the sun, absent all day, popped out from behind the clouds and lit up the early evening sky.  The light on the beach was so gorgeous I was able to get a few nice images of the sand, grass, ocean, and sky.

Ocean view at Neskowin

One more destination on my quest.  A place I'd wanted to visit on an earlier trip but ran out of time - the tiny town of Neskowin, just a few miles further south of Pacific City.  A quick jaunt down US 101, I pulled into a large parking area off the highway, and realized beach access would be a bit of a walk.  Normally this wouldn't have been a problem, but my foot was starting to protest the day's many short trips on unstable sand.  After debating for a few moments, I reasoned I was here now, and unsure when I'd have another chance to see this beach again.  I decided to check it out.

Neskowin Beach and Proposal Rock

The main attraction on Neskowin's beach is a large sea stack called Proposal Rock.  I think the legend is that an old sea captain proposed to his fair lady here, hence the name.  By the time I reached this beach, the sky had clouded up once again, producing crummy light on said rock.  That, and the long walk through shifting sand had been the final straw for my achy foot.  I snapped a dozen underwhelming photos and headed back to my car.

Ocean view near Cape Lookout

The third part of my grand plan had been to capture a lovely ocean sunset.  But the cloud layer kept getting thicker as I drove back north again.  I'd hoped to return to Oceanside's beach and get a nice photo of the colored sky with Three Arch Rocks in the foreground.  But glancing at the gray clouds, I knew it wasn't worth my time waiting around.  So I ended my evening early, and headed back home.

Even though my afternoon hadn't quite gone as planned, it still got me of the house and exploring the Three Capes Scenic Loop from one end to the other and back again.  And, despite the crowds, I'd had a good time.  Another coastal trip logged for 2015!

Sharing with:  Wednesday Around the World and Through My Lens


  1. Just saw you mentioned over on Jann Olson's blog - Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson. Your photos are great of the coast. We spend a lot of time at Garibaldi at our vacation place. Nice to see a fellow Oregonian's blog.


  2. Great images, Linda! I love the loop, and that tunnel. We usually go in late October, no crowds.
    You captured the area beautifully.

  3. HI Linda My first comment disappeared into ether !! Gurr! Anyway i am glad you made this trip as the scenery is stunning, the stacks magnificent, lovely to see the little marks in the sand thethe still water coming to shore. I know your said thre were crowds but your photographs look so peaceful. Pity therewas not sunset to photograph but it is a good reason to go back there and try another time Linda.

  4. If you're going to have grey skies it's as well to have them over grand ocean scenery. In any case you had a better day than the time I rose at 3am in order to climb 3,000 feet up a mountain to enjoy the glorious sunrise, only for it to cloud over just before dawn then pelt us with rain and hail for the whole of the homeward trudge!

  5. Hello Linda, another great post and trip! I love the beaches and sea stacks on the Oregon Coast. We stopped in a few of the places above during our Oregon trip too. The scenery is gorgeous and I love the lighthouse. I am sorry the clouds were in the way of a good sunset. Thanks for sharing, enjoy your day!

  6. You have such wonderful scenery along the Oregon coast. It's far different from what we have here in Connecticut along Long Island Sound. I always enjoy your photos. Nice work!

  7. Quite the coastal tour! Oregon's obviously a beautiful place.

  8. Although the light wasn't the best, you really made good use of what you did have. I love some of the beach pictures, especially the last one. You also managed to get pictures with no crowds of people, which was also nice. Thanks for the tour! :-)

  9. I don't think you can go wrong on the OR coast! Of course any day you can get out of the house and into nature is a good day in my book!

  10. Linda, you have outdone yourself in this series! Absolutely gorgeous. I love coastal tours, thank you so much for sharing. :)

  11. Even though you didn't get a sunset your photos are beautiful! I enjoyed the tour! Such beautiful spots in coastal Oregon:)

  12. The call of the sea. Although you were unhappy with your photos I loved them. People? What people?

  13. Lovely images Linda, the day wasn't wasted as took some great shots.

  14. The weather might not of behaved as you planned, but as always, you have woven magic with your camera.

  15. Well I have to say you might think they were "crummy" shots due to the cloudy weather but I loved them. That's so (coastal) that it's not even funny. - I truly enjoyed all the wonderful photos and thank you for sharing them.

  16. Crummy light or not, it looks like a great day out with such beautiful photos. I love the idea of a tunnel leading to a beach - I'd have to get a shot of the beach through the tunnel!

  17. Though it wasn't sunny, the place still look great. It shows in your picture. I like specially that cape of Kiwanda.

    Nature can't hide its beauty from an active winder-finder like you.

  18. Despite the less than ideal conditions, these are very pretty shots. Glad you were able to visit some spots that you had not been before!

  19. This looks like a really neat place, no matter what the weather! I've been to several beaches around Tillamook, but somehow I've overlooked three arches! Maybe a good spot to visit in Septmeber!

  20. Ah, the gorgeous Oregon coast. Tom The Backroads Traveller

  21. So beautiful - I would love to tag along with you on a drive like this.

  22. How far south have you made it on the Oregon coast? I'm looking for road trip ideas but am not sure I'd like to venture further north than Coos Bay.

  23. How fun. I've been to all those places except Oceanside and Tunnel beach. Never know if there's a nice sunset available or not. Thanks for sharing your journey in your lovely photography. Have a good weekend.

  24. Well, the lighting may have under-whelmed you, but for me, who hasn't seen the Pacific Ocean in 10 years, these pictures were spectacular.

  25. The Oregon coast is incredibly beautiful! And I love it that it's not wall-to-wall people. ;)

  26. i so enjoy your coastal trips. gorgeous images.

  27. Love love love these. Truly great coastal scenes. Thanks so much for linking in with "Through My Lens".

    Mersad Donko Photography

  28. I enjoyed the beach visit on the Pacific very much! You may not have had bright blue skies, but your photos are wonderful. It looks like an amazing area to explore!

  29. These are gorgeous shots. My favourite place is by the water, so I would love this area.

  30. If that's just the small sea stacks the large ones must be a sight. Great area and the kind of coastline I enjoy exploring.

  31. You got fabulous photos despite the grey weather. The coast is very beautiful.


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