A Semi-Nocturnal Sojourn Down the Oregon Coast
(Oceanside, Oregon) – Again, a surge of glorious weather hits the Oregon coast, this time possibly lasting on and off from the last days of January into Valentine’s Day. The weekend was filled with banner days that even hovered around 60 degrees, bringing with it a surge in filled up rooms that would normally be empty in early February. There were even a few “no vacancy” signs found around the coast.
On Saturday, around Netarts (pictured above), it was near dusk that a sizable wind stirred up, keeping things a bit chilly. Interestingly enough this was an east wind, which apparently had been blowing in allergens from the valley into the normally irritant-free coastline.
At Oceanside, a little bit after the sun went down, the Three Arch Rocks are silhouetted in quite the colorful manner. It looks like an empty beach here, but the reality is an ample crowd is wandering the beach, checking out the last rays of the day.
The colors intensify as the sunset dwindles away. If you find a spot hidden from the wind, things feel downright balmy on this February early eve.
A bit further down the road, at Pacific City, it is quite dark by this time. But the stars are out in full force, and this remarkable scene presents itself. A man and his young son are playing with lights on the beach: together they are making “light orbs” as he photographs. All this unfolds in a startling way with the stars behind the oddly-lit Haystack Rock (not to be confused with the Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, some 90 miles to the north).
Also mesmerizing is this scene with a vehicle-enhanced encampment on the beach, right next to a blazing bonfire. Cape Kiwanda is in the background, posing beneath the movement of those stars.
Winding back onto Highway 101 and off the Three Capes Loop, heading south, you turn and twist your way past Neskowin and eventually into Lincoln City. Those wild winds have suddenly died down here.
Down around Depoe Bay, however, about eight miles to the south, they have returned. This, of course, makes nighttime photography problematic, as that requires long camera exposures. But at Rodea Point you are almost completely hidden from the east winds by the slow rise of Cape Foulweather. Winds are present but not as strong, allowing the camera to reveal these tidal monstrosities, which have become esoteric blurs in this nocturnal world.
The surprising surrealism of it all becomes more apparent if you look at Boiler Bay, just north of Depoe Bay. The presence of the moon is felt much stronger here, in this shot that was taken around 2 a.m. A nearly full moon paints the region even more strangely as area get a little hazier.
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