Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

One Oregon Coast Spot Has a Wild and a Calm Face

Published 07/29/2011


(Rockaway Beach, Oregon) – It's a bit of living history you can bounce around on – nearly 100 years old (although you technically shouldn’t be walking on it at all).

The south jetty of the Nehalem Bay, at Rockaway Beach's Manhattan Beach, is a cozy, calm and yet paradoxically dramatic spot on the Oregon coast. It’s also off the beaten path enough that you won’t find many others there, quite often leaving the beach to just you as the lone inhabitant.


It all starts at the parking lot – if you can find it. Indeed, as you reach the northern end of Rockaway and head into that mass of trees that encircles the inner area of Nehalem Bay, there’s a huge sign that says Manhattan Beach. But even from this access point, it’s a little hard to find. It’s easy to get lost in the neighborhood of homes here.

The parking lot is an unassuming gravel patch, sort of stuck in a kind of corner at the bend of a roadway. The dunes here continually spill over onto the parking area, perhaps in an attempt to hide it from the public. It’s entirely possible this beach wants to be left alone.


You have to walk a bit further to get to the beach, and often over an intense labyrinth of huge driftwood that dominate the landscape. They sometimes don’t want you to pass, either, providing numerous obstacles.

Then the ocean appears, and that long stretch of boulders that comprises the jetty at Nehalem Bay.


This, too, is a curious structure in some ways. The ocean can be raging and in a crazed mood, slamming even harder against the jetty on its rocky fingers that jut out into the sea.

But look into the bay mouth, on the other side of the jetty, and it’s paradoxically quite calm.

All those driftwood piles make for plenty of building possibilities. Would-be architects seem to abound here, with humans having created and left behind some magnificent little temporary shelters. Many look quite ingenious.

Look down to the south and you’ll see the iconic Twin Rocks – about seven miles away. These structures change shape all the time, depending on your angle. From this vantage point, so many miles to the north, they look thinner, almost squished. They’re rather comically reminiscent of the opening credits of a spaghetti western flick, where the picture is strangely elongated.


The south jetty here was constructed in 1916 and the north jetty in 1918. The southern one is 4,950 feet long, according to the Army Corps of Engineers, and the north jetty is 3,890 feet.

They went under some restoration in 1981 and ’82, when the Corps and its contractors put more than 347,000 tons of rock into the tips of the jetties. Over the first few decades, lots of chunks of it were periodically taken away by underwater currents and big waves.

More About Manzanita, Rockaway, Wheeler Lodging.....

More About Manzanita, Rockaway, Wheeler Dining.....

A famous little family eatery where the seafood practically gets shuffled from the sea straight into your mouth. Soups and salads include many seafood specialties, including cioppino, chowders, crab Louie and cheese breads. Fish 'n' chips come w/ various fish. Seafood sandwiches with shrimp, tuna or crab, as well as burgers. Dinners like pan fried oysters, fillets of salmon or halibut, saut�ed scallops.
Oregon Coast event or adventure you can't miss
Pacific City, Oregon

 


 

LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Oh, the Lowly Sand Flea: They Should be Exalted on the Oregon Coast
When it comes to the Oregon coast, you've got it all wrong about the sand flea. Science, Seaside Aquarium
Short Beach on N. Oregon Coast Has Tales to Tell: Historical Oceanside Fun Facts
World War II history, a road still closed, local legends
Oregon Coast Travel Tips: So Much Depoe Bay, So Little Time
You really need two or more days to properly explore the sites and sights of Depoe Bay and the surrounding four to five miles. kids
Secret Garden Tour and More Photo Hiking Clinics on Central Oregon Coast
Secret Garden Tour of Otter Rock and more hiking / photography clinics happening in Lincoln City. Depoe Bay events, Lincoln City events
Oregon Coast Citizen Science Day and Talk on Tsunami Debris
The weekend of June 24 and 25 will be a special weekend on the central Oregon coast that's entirely devoted to the Otter Rock Marine Reserve. Depoe Bay events
Oregon Coast Sunsets: the Crazy, Mind-Bending Science; Longest Day of Year
There are some things you can't see anywhere but an ocean environment like here
Three-Day Workshop Shows What's Behind the Workings of the Oregon Coast
This year's CoastWatch Shoreline Science Workshop will be held July 8-10 at the Depoe Bay Community Hall. Depoe Bay
Summer Solstice Includes a Moon Rarity for Portland, Oregon, the Coast
It's not only the longest day of the year, but it's the official start of summer

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright BeachConnection.net Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted