180 miles of Oregon coast travel: Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita,
Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City,
Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Waldport, Yachats & Florence.
Oregon Coast Mysteries Make for Layered Tourism
|Sea foam is actually made up of the skeletons
of tiny, microscopic diatoms, which create bubbles.
(Oregon Coast) – Oregon’s oceanic shoreline
is one of the most dramatic and dynamic places on the planet, along with
its renown for pristine, unspoiled beauty. The very aspects that keep
it so wild and wooly, especially in the weather department, make it an
ever-changing place with a unique ruggedness that hides dozens of interesting,
even weird possibilities. Big winds knock this part of the Pacific Ocean
around with reckless abandon, and in turn, those waves carve out the landscape
in surprising ways.
Here, Mother Nature can be a serious freak – but
in a delightful way. (Click
here for info on the "ghost forests")
Some of the wildest sights happen in spring, others occur
year-round but are merely augmented during this particularly wacky time
of year. Weird, noisily animated rocks nicknamed “magic rocks. The
Pacific “burping.” Foam that looks like snow going the wrong
way. And of course, do you know what sea foam is actually made of?
|Massive foam acting up at Cape Perpetua's
the Devil's Churn
Strange Sea Foam Sights
Awe-inspiring oddities can happen a little more often at
this time of year as well, thanks to phytoplankton known as diatoms –
the little creatures that create sea foam. Bill Hanshumaker, public information
officer for the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, said these
tend to bloom in greater numbers in the spring, and seasonal storms can
result in incredible sights such as foam so frothy it moves like flurries
of snow across the beaches and highways.
Big storms are mostly gone on the coast this time of year,
but smaller yet spectacular ones do hit the coast in April, causing dramatic
waves, odd things getting tossed onto beaches, mass strandings of sea
creatures as well as the snow-like flurries of sea foam.
|Layered tiers and weird noises at Magic
Rocks Beach, just north of Manzanita
Magic Rock Beaches
It's called "magic rocks," and it's a puzzling,
esoteric noise created by stones moving and crackling in the tide.
One is even nicknamed Magic Rocks Beach because it happens
Some beaches – mostly on the north coast - have a
proliferation of small to large, rounded stones that have been polished
by the tides. These rocks, in turn, will make an odd rattling noise when
disturbed by the tides as they wash across them in the sand. In some places,
the noise is soft, rare or infrequent, but occurs in places you wouldn’t
normally think it would. In others, it is loud, even to the point of almost
a roar, and so constant it inspires the term “magic rocks.”
Ocean Lodge. There will not be another property built
like this in Cannon Beach in our lifetimes. Rare, premiere ocean
front location; handsome, dramatic architecture and tasteful, fun
(nostalgic) beach interiors. Overlooks Haystack Rock. 100 percent
smoke free. Imaginative special occasion packages. Massive wood
burning lobby fireplace. Library w/ fireplace, stocked with impressive
book collection. Pet and family friendly. Lavish continental buffet
breakfast. In-room fireplaces, mini-kitchens. Jacuzzi tubs in select
rooms. DVD players, complimentary movies. Morning paper. Warm cookies.
888-777-4047. 503-436-2241. 2864 Pacific Street. Cannon Beach, Oregon.
It’s as if the tides momentarily give these rocks
life, and they shimmy, shake and shudder as they make a rattling noise,
like giant Mexican jumping beans that have grown to freakish side and
now inhabit the tideline.
|The black, sandy beach beneath Newport's
Yaquina Head is strange looking on top of its kooky noises
The name “magic rocks” actually comes from
a nickname the locals have given to a beach just south of the Arch Cape
Tunnel - one that’s almost completely made up of these polished
stones, and where the sound is almost continuous. They call it “Magic
Rocks” beach, and it is unusual in other ways.
Besides being one of the most completely hidden beaches
on the entire coastline, this massive landscape of those polished stones
changes shape constantly. And since that’s mostly what the beach
is made up of, the beach itself changes its look constantly. There are
often tiers carved by the tide, which shift in shape, number, size and
direction sometimes several times a day.
Some of the beaches at Oceanside also have a touch of this
quality. It’s also quite strong at the black sanded beach at the
bottom of Yaquina Head, Rock Creek Campground between Yachats and Florence,
in other parts of Arch Cape, and often really loud in the little village
of Cape Meares, which is on the Bayocean Spit and next to the cliffs also
called Cape Meares.
|Fishbones found by Seaside Aquarium in a
When the Ocean Burps
“Whale burps” is the nickname for rock-hard
bundles of sea grass that have been compressed together.
There are also “ocean burps,” a very loose
term for bundles of sundry objects that get stuck together and tossed
up by the tide, which often yield still living specimens like live egg
casings from various species. The technical term is detritus, and it means
the ocean is casting some interesting objects from the depths onto the
shores – things you don’t normally find on the beaches.
Many living things can be found in the “ocean burps,”
which is exactly what Seaside Aquarium staff encounter every year. One
episode of this detritus occurred in February of 2006, where manager Keith
Chandler found 30 live cockleshells – a form of clam. He also found
numerous squid egg casings and some live squid eggs, which eventually
did hatch at the aquarium, although they didn’t live long.
|A typical ocean burp can and often does
include living creatures, like these crabs
Also found in this mass of messy, mesmerizing stuff are
moon snail shells. These are rare, Chandler said, and quite attractive,
with their intricate, swirling designs. “They can be about the size
of a baseball,” he said.
Chandler said these ocean burps happen under just the right
conditions, when the right mix of storms happen along with the right kind
of ocean currents. Spring storms bring them quite often, so expect to
see some soon, he said.
“It’s an upwelling of stuff from the ocean
floor,” Chandler said. “If you see a patch of dark brown on
the beach, go look through it because you’ll find some cool stuff.”
Spring storms bring as many surprises as winter storms,
maybe even more, considering that’s when many species reproduce
in great numbers, and thus have a better chance of showing up onshore.
Indeed, two years ago, one Newport resident found
a glass float after a spring storm. Danielle Emerick, manager of Starfish
Point, found the ancient Japanese remnant lying around Agate Beach, on
the north end of Newport.
here for info on the "ghost forests")
Rockaway Beach. All rooms are immaculate and have TV’s, VCR’s
and in-room phones w/ data ports. Oceanfronts have queen bed, a
double hide-a-bed, kitchen, cozy firelog fireplace and private deck.
Both types sleep up to four people. Others are appointed for a two-person
romantic getaway, yet still perfect for those on a budget. Elaborate
oceanfront Jacuzzi suite has two bedrooms, kitchen, double hide-a-bed,
fireplace and private deck, sleeping as many as six. For family
reunions or large gatherings such as weddings, some rooms can connect
to create two-room and three-room suites. Some rooms pet friendly.
523 N. Pacific St., Rockaway Beach. (503) 355-2112 - 1-800-824-0938.
at Cannon Beach. Beautifully wooded natural setting at quiet south
end of Cannon Beach. Great during winter storms with a new book by
the fireplace – or when the sun is out for family fun and beach
strolling. Handsome beach cottage-style architecture. Lush flowering
gardens and naturalized courtyard pond. Warm, inviting guest rooms.
Continental buffet breakfast. Warm Cookies. Family and Pet Friendly.
Welcome gifts. Smoke-free. Complimentary Wireless Connectivity. Wine
and book signing events. 800-321-6304 or 503-436-9085. Hemlock At
Surfcrest, Cannon Beach, Oregon. www.atcannonbeach.com.
Sands Condominium Motel, Lincoln City. Free, fresh baked
cookie upon check-in is just the start. All rooms beachfront and
up against Lincoln City's most famous stretch of beach: the D River.
Each room comes as a suite or mini-suite, and has a kitchen and
balcony or patio. Some w/ gas fireplaces, while all have a DVD Players;
movies to rent come with free popcorn. Heated indoor pool, a spa,
and this fabulous beach is lit at night. Rooms sleep from two, four
to six - including a deluxe fireplace suite. Gift certificates orspecial
occasion packages. www.dsandsmotel.com.
171 S.W. Highway 101. 800-527-3925.
Cape Property Services.
Dozens of homes in that dreamy,
rugged stretch between Cannon Beach and Manzanita known as Arch
Cape. Oceanfront and ocean view , or just a short walk from the
All homes are immaculate and smoke free; some pet friendly (with
a fee). Some with broadband, indoor or outdoor hot tubs, fireplaces,
decks, and fire pits or barbecues. Call about tempting winter specials
that go until March (not valid holidays, however). www.archcaperentals.com
City Vacation Homes
Something for everyone: smaller homes
with a view to a large house that sleeps 15. All are either oceanfront
or just a few steps away – 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: 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 allowed in some homes
– ask first. Each comes with complete kitchens. Most have
seventh night free. Prices range from winter $85 to summer $230
per night. www.getaway2thecoast.com.
At Spanish Head, Lincoln City. 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. Dine
in penthouse restaurant and bar, for casual meal or candlelight
dinner. An array of seafood specialties, juicy steaks and other
Northwest favorites, including decadent Sunday buffet. Rooms range
from bedrooms to studios to 1-bedroom suites with microwaves and
refrigerators to full kitchens. Also, wi-fi, spa, saunas, exercise
room and year-round heated swimming pool. Kids will love the game
room and easy beach access. Full-service conference/meeting rooms
for that inspirational retreat; extensive wedding possibilities.
4009 SW Highway 101, Lincoln City. 1-800-452-8127 or 541-996-2161.
here for video of Dec. storm aftermath
Coast Best of Awards for the Year And the winners
are: best of Oregon coast restaurants, lodgings, science, odd events
in nature and stunning moments for 2007
Transformations of Oregon Coast Beaches Seasons change
and so do beaches, revealing different sides and a variety of eye-popping
Cool Ideas for Oregon Coast Romance Be it the season
of Valentine's or be it any time of the year, Oregon's coastline has
essentially cornered the market for cuddle-inducing possibilities and
gushy activities for the hand-holding set
or Night Mysteries and Merriment on Oregon Coast It's
more than just nightlife that comes to life, but the beaches offer major
Coast Travel Site Goes Wireless Provides Lodging Reports
- Oregon Coast Beach Connection now has mobile lodging and dining listings,
along with weekly lodging availability reports
/ ADVERTISE ON BEACH CONNECTION