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Covering 180 miles of Oregon coast
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It's Fall on the Coast: Summer is Here
Summer Rears Its Pretty Head on Oregon Coast
By Andre’ Hagestedt
– September, 2006
– Finally, near the end of September, that whole Second
Summer phenomenon kicks in on the Oregon coast, with an explosion
of intensely warm weather (which included Seaside topping out the
region at 87 degrees on September 24).
Finally, the coast catches
up to the things that have been crammed into this website left and
right for the last month or so. But aside from that most pleasant
discovery, this is the beginning of a few wonderful days of fun,
sun, weird beachy anomalies, fine food, romance and more fine food.
|On this weekend, I have my cake and
eat it too
The end of September
also always means birthday party madness for me, with a triple dose
of maniacal playtime between the north coast, central coast and
It’s Friday, and
I’ve set up a wild ‘n’ crazy b-day bash at Warren
House in Cannon Beach. Unfortunately, no one showed. Except for
my Rockaway friend Abby-normal, and a quick appearance by Gary Diebolt
of Flashback in Seaside, I was it.
staffer Rachel had some surprises in store, cajoling Abby and I
down to Nehalem, where a massive party was going on at the Wateringhole.
This place is unbelievably packed on this night, with a full parking
lot and more people than I’ve ever seen here before. It’s
here where we set the place on fire – and according to this
one photo, it appears my friends are literally aflame.
|My friends on fire: (clockwise from
top, Dave, Rachel, Trevor, Abby and Allison)
At one point,
out on the patio on this rather warm evening, a massive shooting
star goes streaking across the skyline. None of my other friends
and I hit Nehalem Bay to look for the glowing
phytoplankton we’ve seen in here before. Sure enough,
as we drag our flip-flops through the water, the telltale glowing
blue trail appears behind our shoes, except this time parts of the
trail sparkle and twinkle in the water, instead of just glowing
We, justifiably, shriek
INTO LUXURY, HISTORY AT THE TIDES
TIDES BY THE SEA, Seaside. For over 80 years, The Tides
has been a favorite of Seaside visitors. History meets modern
luxury here. 51 oceanfront condos, individually owned and
decorated. Find suites for couples, small apartments with
fireplaces and kitchenettes, one or two bedroom family units
with fireplaces, kitchens and dining rooms. There are wonderful
oceanview cottages that sleep anywhere from two to eight people,
with two bedrooms, some with lofts, fireplaces and kitchens.
Meanwhile, the heated outdoor pool, enormous grounds with
picnic tables and location at the quiet southern end of Seaside
make for some memorable means of play and repose. 2316 Beach
Drive. 800-548-2846. www.thetidesbythesea.com.
We soon hit
the beaches of Rockaway to look for it, finding a dark place on
the north end. Indeed, they are there – the tiny, bioluminescent
phytoplankton that create the faint, bluish green sparks that cause
such glee. They are spotty and barely visible, with only a couple
here and there. I see about ten or 15. Abby notices only a couple.
The next morning, Abby
presents me with a lovely birthday cake.
warm on this day, probably in the lower 80’s. Manzanita is
abuzz with people, and my favorite early afternoon breakfast of
Mexi-food at Left Coast Siesta takes something like 40 minutes of
waiting. Meanwhile, the sea is calm and fairly still beyond the
white of the breakers, and the ocean is a deep blue in color.
there are a lot of weird little bugs everywhere in Rockaway on this
of bugs in Neskowin
The warm weather
has brought something out: they cover the cars and lawned areas
in great swarms. They’re somewhere between a regular fly and
a fruit fly in size, yet look more like the latter.
pad in Rockaway, we sit mesmerized by the remake of “The Fog,”
which is set in a fictional north Oregon coast town. With that supposed
location, and the weird legends of a wrecked galleon and buried
treasures around Manzanita, the coincidences are an extra amusing
addition to our movie viewing experience. We sit and joke about
one scene or another, saying “that’s not Manzanita,”
or joking about one landmark or another in the movie that could
be from the tiny little town. During a scene in a bar, we kiddingly
wonder about which bar in Manzanita could it be: Wateringhole, Sea
Shack or San Dune. There are also numerous cracks about the lack
of the usual Tillamook County characters in the film, such as "where
is the semi-toothless mullet crowd?"
This long, lazy
day ends around 6 p.m., as I embark on a rather hurried ride to
Newport. It’s there, after all, where I have a date set up
with an astonishing local beauty and a birthday party as well. I’m
anxious to get there, but things are too beautiful along the way
to ignore. About an hour later, I’ve been through the stunning,
placid waters of Tillamook Bay, the comely countryside just outside
Tillamook, and then that mysterious area just south of Pacific City,
with its occasional viewpoints and breathtaking vistas.
At Neskowin, the creek
wanders through its little pathway with a particularly stunning
shade of blue, a reflection of the sky, as if it were pouring its
hues into the water just for the aesthetic beauty. The north side
of Cascade Head is aglow in a jaw-dropping, slightly fuzzy orange,
brought on by the twilight.
help but stop and take a snapshot.
By the time I make it
Lincoln City, the sun is doing some wild, odd things as it nears
the end of its workday. The horizon isn’t far way, and it
is enormous, as I’m driving along 101.
I zip down a street on
the north end of town, to see this huge sun reflected and slightly
stretched in the water, making it even bigger and giving it a particularly
weird shape. It’s surreal as all hell, but unforgettably beautiful.
I stop to take shots
of the sunset, along with everyone else and their dog – quite
literally. The streets and beaches are lined with hordes to watch
My head is still reeling
with all the research I’ve done on the freakish “green
flash at sunset.” In fact, I was actually filmed by The Oregon
Coast Show talking about this recently. And sure enough, as I’m
photographing this, I see it!!!
|Hints of the green flash at sunset
I can’t explain, it doesn’t show up in this photograph,
although there are hints of it. But I did indeed see a greenish
aura, or blob, surrounding the sun for about half a minute, before
it retreated below the horizon. It sort of undulated and changed
shape and size, even disappearing briefly. But there it was –
and this is the third time I’ve seen it now.
Then it was
In the photograph,
if you look closely, there is a sort of reddish "border"
on the outer edges of the top of the sun - which is more or less
what this greenish blob looked like. Yet here, it shows up red rather
than green, and much thinner and less dynamic.
By this time, I was starving.
I rushed toward Newport, where all the shoreline was clear and crystalline,
except for Yaquina Head, which is surrounded by a deep fog. It’s
freaky and awesome, and reminds me of the creepy movie I’d
just watched nearly 100 miles away, in Rockaway. A quick bit of
Thai Talay in Newport, and I make it to my lovely friend Melissa’s
dancing at Blu Cork Wine Bar
A while later,
it’s my birthday party at Blu Cork Wine Bar, where Melissa
shows up in the most stunning little black dress. We slow dance
to a song by Sting, and it’s a delicious moment. Everyone
was watching us.
The next morning,
Nye Beach is smothered in sunlight and topped with seamless blue
skies. We have a magnificent breakfast at Village Market & Deli,
with Melissa taking the “Forestier” sandwich –
a combination of mushrooms, chevre cheese and other fantastic herbs
and ingredients. I again had the “Tuscan Turkey,” where
turkey is surrounded by numerous, intriguing layers of a kalamata
olive mayonnaise, sun dried tomatoes and red onions, creating a
wild rush of zings from many culinary angles.
|Ocean blues of Nye Beach, with a small
white dot in the distance: a sailboat taking in the surf and
a sailboat traipsing around the rich and dark blue ocean, which
I’ve never seen before. Dozens are hovering around the beach
at this moment.
The rest of this adventure
is a blur of driving north again, with intermittent fog and sun,
a puzzling combination of clear skies that showed major shooting
stars at certain points and mist that diffused the lights shining
at night, spreading the rays around in curious ways that illuminated
everything even more than usual.
It was, as always,
the coast creating a magical ride.