|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?
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.
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