Oregon Coast Exploits Amidst Mists and Mysteries, Travelogue Part 2

Published 11/09/2015 at 4:35 AM PDT
By Andre' Hagestedt


By Andre' Hagestedt

(Oregon Coast) – Part two of this amusing travelogue of experiences and exploits in '07 picks up after a couple of days in the Newport area and some drool-inducing culinary adventures, as well as weather wonders. I had just made it to Cannon Beach after a long ride from the central Oregon coast and discovered a handful of impressive storm remnants.

Like before, some of the businesses mentioned here no longer exist, but it is nice to revisit their memory.

The fun picks up on a Tuesday afternoon after the end of Part 1.

In Seaside, I wander into the lair of the Seaside Aquarium, and chat with my pals there. This slightly crusty stalwart of tourism is the oldest aquarium in the western half of the U.S., having run continuously since 1934. Nothing ever stays the same here, in spite of the facility’s limited space. This time, manager Keith Chandler and assistant Tiffany Boothe show me the “Idiot Fish” (at right) they recently acquired from a fisherman who accidentally snagged a few in his net. This form of rockfish is a rare find so far from the deep, as it lives so far below the surface, where light can’t penetrate, that they must keep the poor little idiots in very low light.

One example of the species they had was about three feet long – a giant. They are pink and jagged on the outside, and weren’t expected to live long because their current environment was so different from that of their regular one.

All this hanging around fish in a tank made me hungry for seafood. I was starved, and watching these guys swim around made me wish one was on a plate already. But first I scarfed down a couple delectable beef burritos at Muchas Gracias, where fast Mexican food becomes a culinary treasure. It makes the other chains seem like dumpster diving eats.

Soon after, I’m joined by my pal Bob, and we have dinner at The Lumberyard Rotisserie and Grill in Cannon Beach, where they make this exquisite orange martini I can never get enough of. I thoroughly enjoyed the halibut fish and chips as well. While that may not sound very imaginative, the fish chunks were large and extremely tasty – and I am not even that fond of fish.

Nighttime is in full swing by now, which means I must hit the bars again. Warren House, in Cannon Beach is without a doubt my favorite bar in the whole state, and the bartender makes a ravishing strawberry concoction that’s a lot like a martini, but juicier. Yum.

Next up, it’s goofy time at Pudgy’s in Seaside, where pleasant conversation and fun was had by all. This bar is always one of my favorites, with its retro décor so loungy it has been nicknamed the “Star Trek bar” in the past.

I then meander just down the street to Girtle’s Lounge for their intriguing karaoke night, which usually means one-man band Bucky may join in behind you, jamming with you on guitar as you sing your dignity away on stage. This is certainly something different in the karaoke world.

Lately, owner Bob Girtle occasionally makes a surreal entrance by zipping in on a segway. This time, I find out he has more than one, as two sit against the back of the bar charging up. I discover he’s collecting a small fleet of them and hopes to rent them out later in the year when the tourist season kicks in. This is also something more than a little different.

Bob chats with me briefly, then rides away into what would be the sunset if it weren’t for the fact it was pitch black out. He did, in fact, ride off into a blaze of neon lights that surrounded his doorway. Same effect.


The next morning, I awake in Arch Cape to wild wave action and a host of mists drifting around northern landmarks like Hug Point and Cannon Beach’s Haystack Rock. While getting gas in Cannon Beach’s only station, I realize the owner here also has his own art gallery of interesting north coast photographs. Cannon Beach is known as an artist’s hangout (having once hosted an actual artists colony), so it’s sort of the epicenter of this kind of aesthetic on the whole Oregon coast. It’s rather amusing to note that even the local gas station gets in on it – and with outstanding results. Check out Gary D. Moon's works here.

Part three follows shortly, featuring more adventures on the north Oregon coast. More of these areas below:


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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.
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