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Details and Delights of an Oregon Landmark: Exploring Rockaway Beach
(Rockaway Beach, Oregon) – No, this is not the Rockaway Beach of New York State fame, or that which was mentioned in a song by The Ramones. This is the calm and cozy sandy wonder from the Oregon coast, boasting seven miles of soft granules and a kind of 1800's Old West look against an ocean backdrop.
At its northernmost end sits the jetty from the southern part of Nehalem Bay, where curious conditions create one side filled with tidal madness and the other side – the bay mouth portion – mellow and mild in the waves department.
This is called Manhattan Beach – again a nod to its east coast elders – and it's filled with massive amounts of logs tossed up here by the sea. Often, the beach's human patrons create some rather inventive structures out of those wayward woody wanderers.
Also of interest: the famed Twin Rocks – so recognizable as being a part of Rockaway Beach that they were practically Nature's marketing and branding gift to the town – tend to change shape depending on where you are in Rockaway Beach. At this very northern end, they have this sort of squished shape.
A large stream interrupts the sandy stretches at the northern edge, near the high school, creating these engaging pools of blue.
After a short distance, the beach takes on that rip-rap look that essentially typify the rest of the area. Tidal forces are not kind to the soft foredunes here.
Though it's largely a featureless sand that appears to look the same day in/day out, indeed Rockaway Beach never has quite the same look, depending on weather conditions.
Sometimes this pristine part of the Oregon coast is in a highly reflective mood, and looking down can show you the sky quite clearly.
Other times, it's exceptionally dramatic.
At night, if it's foggy, the place has this esoteric, otherworldly look.
Springtime brings a heavy emphasis on pastels to the sea here and to the famed Twin Rocks.
Twin Rocks at night is definitely a fantasia on the water.
Along Highway 101, you'll notice the railroad tracks crossing over creeks. Here, one early eve, just after dusk, a cloudy but very colored sky is reflected in the stream.
Something quite startling, at least visually, is seeing the famed Twin Rocks up close.
At the very southern end of Rockaway Beach, the shape of Twin Rocks has greatly changed. The arch is no longer visible, such as here at the Shand Street access.
Finally, another fascinating view of Rockaway Beach happens just a ways up the Oregon coast, to the north, from Manzanita. Here is the town as seen from Manzanita – but at night.
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