Wandering Rockaway Beach: the Sandy Wonder at a Second Glance
(Rockaway Beach, Oregon) – A longtime Oregon coast vacation spot, one with a history literally going back to the beginning of the last century, Rockaway Beach is seven miles of gorgeous sand and a myriad of wowing wonders.
Some are obvious – some are not. And searching for both is part of the fun.
Rockaway Beach is, of course, mostly known for its Twin Rocks – the gigantic sea stacks lurking just offshore.
Want to get a bit closer to these massive monsters? You can't, really. Unless you have some high-powered optics. Then you can see the lines on these 15 million-year-old-or-so landmarks.
Apparently Twin Rocks got their name a century ago or so from boaters who wandered the western side of the sea stacks. They look nearly identical from the other side, according to some.
The Little Red Caboose is perhaps the other big recognizable landmark in Rockaway Beach, standing out by virtue of its color amidst everything else blue (or gray, depending on the day). It houses the Chamber of Commerce in Rockaway Beach, along with tons of visitor information.
The caboose is located at the main wayside in downtown. A bit of an elderly remnant itself, the train car is a nod to the town's local history of what was called the “Daddy Train” back in the early part of the 1900's. This was a time when families would hang out during the summer for weeks at a time, but Dad still had to continue working back in the valley. A weekend train would bring the fathers back down for the weekend, hence the term “Daddy Train.”
The caboose is, of course, still red at night. The tropical plants outside provide a striking contrast to the general weather patterns of the Oregon coast.
Train tracks still play an important role in this hotspot, as the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad comes through here during the summers and on special dates around the year. Here, the tracks lead the eye to a mysterious looking downtown area just after dusk.
Rockaway Beach's chunk of Highway 101 manages to retain a fascinating sense of history as you travel along, whizzing past these elderly statesman of local architecture. Many of the buildings seem left over from an Old West town of sorts. It's a bit like traveling into the past along the Oregon coast at times, yet these are often painted modern, bright and very funky colors.
Another major landmark at Rockaway Beach is the south jetty of Nehalem Bay. Constructed about a century ago, the side facing greater Rockaway and Manhattan Beach has a much wilder side to it than the bay side of the rocky structure.
This is evidenced by the gargantuan chunks of logs and trees piled up on it. But this section has its softer side as well, shown here by the reflective quality of the wet sand and a truly tranquil moment next to this powerful place.
More about Rockaway Beach lodgings and restaurant listings below.
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