180 miles of Oregon coast travel: Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita,
Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City,
Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Wadport, Yachats & Florence.
Coast Freaky Fish, Celebrities, Ghost Trees and An Exploding Whale
(Oregon Coast) –
It’s time for freaky facts about the Oregon coast, kids.
Each week in December
and January, BeachConnection.net will release a horde of offbeat, odd,
funky, fun or just amusing tourism tidbits about the coast – from
the worlds of science, history, nature, weather or just interesting trivia.
It’s a digital
trip to the coast you won’t soon forget.
City Vacation Homes
There’s something for everyone
among this selection of wondrous homes: smaller homes with a view
to a large house that sleeps 15. All the homes are either oceanfront
or just a few steps away from the sand – all with a low
bank access and fantastic views. Most are in the Nelscott area;
one is close to the casino. You’ll find a variety of goodies,
depending on the home: fireplaces, multiple bedrooms, dishwashers,
Jacuzzis, washer/dryers, hot tubs, cable TV, VCR, barbecues; there’s
a loft in one, and another sprawling home has two apartments.
Pets are allowed in some homes – ask ahead. Each comes with
complete kitchens so you’ll have a home away from home.
Most have the seventh night free. Prices range from winter $85
to summer $230 per night. www.getaway2thecoast.com.
This week, you’ll
find out about some freaky fish, a central coast hotel’s oddball
history that involved a celebrity and a cult, the “ghost forest”
of Neskowin and the infamous legend of Florence’s exploding whale.
That Famous Man with the Pink Leisure Suit?
Did you know that
singer Pat Boone used to have an interest in a hotel in Waldport? The
relationship to the hotel is unclear, but in the early 70's it was called
the Pat Boone Inn, located in the Bayshore district. The marquee even
featured a picture of Boone wearing - get this - a pink leisure suit.
In the late 70's it
became the Bayshore Inn, and the Heaven's Gate cult held a gathering there
(the UFO cult that became infamous in the 90's for committing mass suicide
For a while in recent
years, it was called the Evening Star Hotel, then briefly returning to
the name Bayshore Resort, until that venture failed. Currently, it’s
the big Howard Johnson’s hotel.
Jim King, a former
manager at one of the restaurants in the hotels long lineage, grew up
in the area and told BeachConnection.net he attended the Pat Boone Motel's
opening ceremonies in the late 60's. He remembers Boone being there.
Fish of the Oregon Coast
underwater weirdos inhabit our coastal region, and many of them you can
spot at the Seaside Aquarium.
A colorful title, to be sure; but its name is actually upstaged by the
appearance of this most unique and wondrous looking critter. A close cousin
to the Snailfish, Lumpsuckers get their name from their habit of clinging
to rocks and other objects with a small disk found on the breast of the
Moss Head Warbonnet:
Mosshead Warbonnets occupy shallow tide pools and often hide inside of
empty shells or small crevices. They will even take refuge in glass bottles
which have been discarded. They can reach a maximum length of 6 inches.
At Spanish Head, Lincoln City. It's Lincoln City’s only
resort hotel built right on the beach with all oceanfront rooms
- nestled against a rugged cliffside overlooking a soft, sandy beach.
Enjoy dining in the penthouse restaurant and bar - whether you’re
in the mood for a casual meal or a candlelight dinner. They offer
an array of seafood specialties, juicy steaks and other Northwest
favorites, including a decadent Sunday buffet. Rooms range from
bedrooms to studios to one-bedroom suites with microwaves and refrigerators
to full kitchens. Hotel amenities include wi-fi, spa, saunas, exercise
room and a year-round heated swimming pool. Kids will love the game
room and easy beach access. Full-service conference and meeting
rooms for that inspirational retreat; extensive, gorgeous wedding
possibilities. Near the south end of Lincoln City at 4009 SW Highway
101. 1-800-452-8127 or 541-996-2161. www.spanishhead.com
A most remarkable specimen, the Prowfish is the only member of the family
Zaproridae. Juvenile Prowfish live in the middle levels of the water column
(the vicinity of their preferred prey, the jellyfish). They have been
observed hiding in the bells of jellyfish if threatened or approached
by a predator. As adults, Prowfish spend the majority of their time on
or near the bottom of the ocean, in depths of up to 2,000 feet. The white
and blue fringes on the head of the Prowfish are sensory pores which help
the fish perceive its surroundings.
Grunt Sculpins range all along the Pacific Coast, from Alaska to Northern
California, and can be found in shallow, intertidal waters to depths of
over 500 feet. These fish rarely swim, preferring instead to use their
pectoral fins to "hop" around sandy or rocky bottoms, rooting
for food with their elongated "snout". If removed from the water,
Grunt Sculpins will actually produce grunt-like sounds.
Scientific Name: Trachipterus altivelis Family: Ribbonfish (of the four
different species of ribbonfish on our coast, the King-of-the-Salmon is
the largest). Size: Up to 6 feet. One of these washed up on Sunset Beach
this year, clocking in at exactly six feet.
|Ribbonfish discovered this summer
The eye is nearly
3 inches across.
Their range is from
Alaska to Baja, California and off the coast of Chile, usually living
500 feet to 1,600 feet in depth. Diet: Adults feed on squid and juvenile
The common name of
this fish was derived from an old Native American legend, in which this
fish was referred to as the ‘king’ who led the Salmon.
See these (and find
out more) at the Seaside
Aquarium, on the Prom, in Seaside. 503-738-6211.
County History Tidbits
According to the North
Lincoln County Historical Museum in Lincoln City, some strange and possibly
sinister bits of history are lurking in the area.
A skeleton of an eight-foot
African-American man and two other men were found near Three Rox Bay in
Lincoln County (near Cascade Head). These bones were believed to be the
remains of men who were shipwrecked in the 1700s, and left behind to guard
some kind of treasure.
odd here, say museum managers, is that while the treasure portion of the
tale is a longtime local legend, the bones were found in 1932 –
long after the treasure legend is known to have been circulating around
Another freaky bit
of geology comes from the museum as well. “About 20,000 years ago,
the shoreline was about 25 miles west of where it is today,” said
the museum’s Ann Hall. After the last ice age, when glaciers melted,
the sea level rose and the shoreline moved to its present location.”
Even stranger still,
back around 45 million years ago, our beaches were nearly 100 miles inland,
about where Silverton is now. The plate the U.S. sits on is continually
You can see more at
the North Lincoln County Historical Museum. 4907 SW Highway 101. Lincoln
City, Oregon. 541-996-6614. www.northlincolncountyhistoricalmuseum.org/
“Ghost Forest” of Neskowin
In mysterious (and
oft-called spiritual spot) Neskowin, just north of Cascade Head and south
of Pacific City, there’s a weird wonder nicknamed the "ghost
forest." This downright spectacular oddity is almost a rare sight
in Neskowin, but you may not know just how spectacular it is unless you
know what it is you're looking at.
Motel, Rockaway Beach
If expansive ocean views, close proximity to golfing,
fishing tours and quick access to seven miles of pristine beaches
is your thing, then this quintessential beauty in Rockaway Beach
is your ticket to vacation fun for families, couples or large groups.
Some rooms are pet friendly. All rooms at the Tradewinds Motel are
immaculate and have TV’s, VCR’s and in-room phones with
data ports. The oceanfronts all have a queen bed, a double hide-a-bed,
kitchen, cozy firelog fireplace and a private deck. Some oceanfront
units come with all those amenities but the kitchens. Both types
sleep up to four people. The non-oceanfront rooms are appointed
with a queen bed, small fridge, and coffee maker – sizable
for a two-person romantic getaway, yet still perfect for those on
a budget. There is an elaborate oceanfront Jacuzzi suite that has
two bedrooms, coming with a kitchen, double hide-a-bed, fireplace
and private deck, sleeping as many as six. For those wanting bigger
accommodations for family reunions or large gatherings such as weddings,
some rooms can connect to create two-room and three-room suites.
523 N. Pacific St., Rockaway Beach. (503) 355-2112 - 1-800-824-0938.
They look somewhat
like old, ragged pilings leftover from something manmade – and a
little bit like the ghostly remnants of a woodland. They are, in fact,
stumps of a forest some 2,000 years ago or so.
As many as 100 are
sometimes visible in various shapes and sizes. Initially, local geologists
theorized that around 2,000 years ago a massive, cataclysmic earthquake
abruptly dropped this forest possibly more than 25 feet. Then, they were
preserved by sand and mud and a no-oxygen environment, rather then being
destroyed and scattered, as natural erosion might've done.
But in recent years,
scientists have come to believe these and other ghost forests on the Oregon
coast were the result of slightly longer geologic processes. For a variety
of reasons, the landscape changes in that area, and sand, sea or other
elements flood the area over a period of years or decades.
There are similar
stumps periodically visible near Newport, although these are quite rare.
One, however, is consistently visible sticking out of a cliff in Nye Beach,
just beneath the Sylvia Beach Hotel.
In 1970, a whale carcass
washed ashore at Florence and caused quite a stir (and a smell).
Back then, the Oregon
Highway Division (soon to become Oregon Department of Transportation)
decided to stick dynamite next to it and blow it to bits. It was, to say
the least, a learning experience.
Beach Rentals, Lincoln City. Perfect for large family
vacations all the way down to a getaway lodging for two - with
over 25 vacation rental homes to choose from. A breathtaking collection
of craftsman or traditional beachfront homes, or oceanview houses
– from one to seven bedrooms. In various areas of Lincoln
City and overlooking the beach, with some in Depoe Bay. All kinds
of amenities are available, like hot tubs, decks, BBQ, rock fireplaces,
beamed ceilings and more. Some are new, some are historic charmers.
Lincoln City, Oregon. 1-(503)-232-5984. www.a1beachrentals.com.
The idea was that
if they exploded a device from one side of the whale, in just the right
angle and spot, it would blow the whale apart into a myriad of smaller
pieces. Those would theoretically be more manageable and could be buried
in the sand, while smaller bits would be gobbled up by birds and such.
In one extremely famous
film clip, still available on the Net, a very young Paul Linneman from
Portland's KATU-2 comments as the whale is blown up. He is suddenly forced
to run as it rains various sized chunks of blubber onto a cheering - then
panicking - crowd. One flying slab wrecked a car a quarter of a mile away.
you could hear chunks making squishing noises in the background as they
hit the ground.
famous line: “….blasted blubber beyond all believable bounds.”
A man named Thornton,
who was the Highway Division's head of the project at the time, will still
not speak to the press to this day. Back in 2000, the Eugene Register-Guard
did a thirty-year retrospective on the infamous event and he refused comment.
Footage of this is
still one of the hottest internet downloads around. Simply do a search
on "exploding whale" and you'll find film footage of it and
various articles, including one by humorist Dave Berry.
Sands Condominium Motel, Lincoln City. Getting a free,
fresh baked cookie upon check-in is just the beginning. Every room
is beachfront, and it's all right up against Lincoln City's most
famous stretch of beach, next to the D River. Each room, comes as
a suite or mini-suite, and has a kitchen and balcony or patio. Some
have gas fireplaces, while all have a DVD Players with movies available
for renting (and movie rentals come with free popcorn). There's
a heated indoor pool, a spa, and this fabulous beach is lit at night.
Rooms sleep anywhere from two, four to six - including a deluxe
fireplace suite. Gift certificates are available, and they offer
special occasion packages as well. To make a reservation and see
a virtual tour of the rooms, visit our website at www.dsandsmotel.com.
171 S.W. Highway 101. 800-527-3925.
Paradise Suites & Vacation Rentals - Seaside
Unique Luxury Accommodations in Seaside. 1BR Suites,
1BR & 2BR Duplex Units and 3BR Houses, units for 2-8 people.
Rent our entire property for 20-26. All units close to beach, river
and Broadway St.
Suites are designed for two adults; vacation rental units for families.
All units have kitchen and many have fireplace, deck and jetted
tub. Enjoy comfy robes & slippers, luxury bath amenities, quality
linens and more. See us on The Travel Channel's "Great Escapes"
show in August 2006. 741 S. Downing St., Seaside. 800-738-6691.
for Freaky, Creepy Mole Crabs on Oregon Coast Beaches The
little critters make the tideline bubble and feel really weird as they
run across your feet
Transformations of Oregon Coast Beaches Seasons change
and so do beaches, revealing different sides and a variety of eye-popping
Found on Oregon Beach May Be 80,000 Years Old - They
are the remnants of a forest apparently 80,000 years old, found at Hug
or Night Mysteries and Merriment on Oregon Coast It's
more than just nightlife that comes to life, but the beaches offer major
Up for Summer Camping on Oregon's Coast There are
dozens of campsites, providing exceptional opportunities for beachcombing
coast mileage chart & map
trips, suggested itineraries
for Oregon Coast Subjects, Articles
Coast Real Estate
Things to Do
Coast Complete Guides (every beach access,
TAKE THE VIRTUAL TOUR
Where the Columbia meets the Pacific,
Land of Lewis & Clark and loads of atmosphere & history
The Promenade, Tillamook Head, family
fun & broad, sandy beaches
A mysterious lighthouse, upscale
yet earthy, a huge monolith, fine eateries & an art mecca
Manzanita's beaches, Nehalem and
Wheeler's quirky beauty; laid back Rockaway
Garibaldi, Barview, Bay City, Tillamook
& an oceanfront ghost town
The hidden secret of the coast: Cape
Meares, a lighthouse, Oceanside, Netarts and Pacific City
A spouting horn downtown, freaky hidden
cliffs and whales, whales, whales
Time-tripping Nye Beach, a bustling
bayfront, marine science-central and two lighthouses
Constantly dramatic wave action, a mix of the rugged &
A lighthouse, ancient bayfront and miles and miles of fluffy
INTO LUXURY, HISTORY AT THE TIDES
TIDES BY THE SEA, Seaside. For over 80 years a favorite of Seaside
visitors. 51 oceanfront condos, individually owned and decorated.
Suites for couples, small apartments with fireplaces and kitchenettes,
one or two bed family units with fireplaces, kitchens and dining
rooms. Oceanview cottages sleep anywhere from two to eight, w/ two
bedrooms, some with lofts, fireplaces and kitchens.
Heated outdoor pool, enormous grounds w/ picnic tables - all at
quiet southern end of Seaside. 2316 Beach Drive. 800-548-2846. www.thetidesbythesea.com.
CLIFFTOP IN NEWPORT
POINT Newport - Offers only the finest in luxury
condominium lodging. Every unit is focused on the beauty of the
sea and the beach.
All units boast two bedrooms, two bathrooms, designer kitchens,
wireless broadband Internet, fireplaces, Jacuzzi’s and private
decks. Friendly staff dedicated to high quality and superb customer
service. 140 NW 48th Street, Newport. (541) 265-3751. (800) 870-7795.