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.
Wild Skies and Beaches
this Weekend on Oregon Coast
|Landscape east of Lincoln City: this may not be a bad place to look
for the meteor shower
To see an update on more
oddities washing ashore, click here
(Oregon Coast) – There's more than Labor Day Weekend
A host of stunning, even strange natural events are in
store for the final weekend of summer on the Oregon coast, with tourists
to the area in a position to witness shooting stars, an ocean burp, strange
fish behavior, and maybe even glowing sand or the occasional baby shark
washing up on shore.
A wide array of interesting examples of nature have been
occurring recently, and this coming weekend promises even more.
Saturday morning will feature the Aurigid meteor showers
throughout the western U.S. and much of the world, visible here from about
4:06 a.m. to 5:06 a.m. Some astronomers are predicting it could yield
as many as 2000 meteors in that time period, often with dazzling colors.
|Gearhart, where looking for glowing sand and the shooting stars
is not a bad idea
This meteor shower happens once every two thousand years,
so exactly how this will pan out is not certain.
On the coast, weather permitting, the skies will be much
clearer than they are in the valley areas, allowing for much more intense
viewing in these areas. The sunrise and presence of the moon may make
seeing the display a little more difficult, however.
Astronomers advise to look in the east and northeast. So,
many of the prime high vantage points along the coast that are normally
good for viewing shooting stars may not work as well. Spots like Neahkahnie
Mountain above Manzanita or Cape Foulweather near Newport have large chunks
of land behind them, covering up the eastern views.
It is suggested to go to dark beach areas with low-lying
eastern mountains, like Lincoln City, Waldport or the areas north of Gearhart
on the north coast. (To see pictures of
the recent lunar eclipse from the coast, click here).
|A rare shot of the glowing phytoplankton, taken by Tiffany Boothe
of Seaside Aquarium, while pouring wet sand and photographing it with
a low shutter speed
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If you want sparks above and below, the nighttime is also
a good time to check the beaches for the legendary “glowing sand”
effect that has been hitting the Oregon coast recently. Find a sandy beach
with little or no interference from the moon or manmade lights, and you
may run across tiny, faint green/blue sparks that come up from your feet
as you scuff them along the sand. Look for wet sand, somewhat near the
tide line – but not at the tide line. However, sometimes this has
been seen far from the tide line, such as a night last summer when BeachConnection.net
spotted it just beneath the cliffs of Nye Beach.
It’s a spectacular, weird sight that causes people
to uniformly shriek with delight when they first spot it.
|The critters creating the "glowing sand" may be especially
spectacular in bays like the Nehalem Bay
pools of sea water that have standing for much of the day are excellent
plays to find this effect, which is caused by tiny phytoplankton called
dinoflagelettes. If they’re in abundance there, it can look like
small galaxies exploding beneath your feet for a second or two.
The dinoflagelettes are bioluminescent, meaning they give
off light like fireflies. These occur more frequently in warmer, summer
months, especially in later summer and the famed “second summer”
– where the fall months are actually the warmest time on the Oregon
If they’re present when you run your hand through
bays like Nehalem Bay, they make an eerie glowing trail behind you in
|A vast array of eggs from the ocean burp (photo Tiffany Boothe)
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Another spectacular occurrence of Mother Nature happened
in recent days, when an “ocean burp” tossed up a bevy of odd
items – both inanimate and alive – onto the beaches of Seaside.
This is when a deep water upwelling of cold water pushes a variety of
objects and creatures higher towards the top of the ocean, and the currents
bring this debris and cornucopia of stuff onto the beach. Its technical
name is detritus.
Tiffany Boothe, of the Seaside Aquarium, said the oceanic
stuff happened Wednesday night at the cove area of Seaside.
|The ocean burp at the cove
“It is scattered out over a large part of the beach
and in some places five inches thick,” she said. “This particular
burp had more shells in it than I had ever seen in the past. Most of the
shells were smaller snail shells about one half to 1 inch in size. Though
the burp occurred yesterday evening it most likely won't wash away all
at once, and in fact will probably be around for the weekend.
“So if you like shells head on down to the cove.”
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
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Hemlock At Surfcrest, Cannon Beach, Oregon. www.atcannonbeach.com.
Boothe said this ocean burp brought up a large amount of
Dungeness crab, pieces of brain coral, starfish, hermit crabs, tub worm
casings and sponges.
|Crabs and starfish lying around Seaside, part of the burp (photo:
“If you are collecting shells you may want to make
sure that you inspect them carefully,” Boothe said. “Hermit
crabs hide very well and you may end up with something that smells quite
Boothe also recently told BeachConnection.net about an
unusually large amount of dead sharks that have washed up on the north
Oregon coast. Three salmon sharks, four soupin sharks and one great white
were discovered in various areas, from Rockaway Beach up to southern Washington.
Staff at the aquarium theorized that this year’s warmer waters have
brought in more tuna, which in turn have brought in more sharks to the
area – thus more will wash up dead. (More
on the discovery that one shark turned out to be a great white here -
as well as more about a decomposing whale, porpoise, a baby seal and more
sharks that have washed up since this story was published)
However, Bill Hanshumaker, Public Marine Education Specialist
with the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport said an alarmingly
large amount of baby salmon sharks have washed up on the central coast.
|Dead salmon shark pup: the entire coast
has been seeing a lot of these washing up lately
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.
“I have had more than a half dozen reports of dead
baby great white sharks,” Hanshumaker said. “Without exception,
these turn out to be baby salmon shark pups. Though I typically see one
or two every summer, this year’s higher number of dead pups is unusual.
Salmon Shark pup are identified by their secondary keel and non-serrated
Something similar has been happening in central California,
where a large amount of dead baby sharks have been washing up there as
well. But necropsies done on the creatures have revealed they had encephalitis,
a disease of the brain.
|Anchovies in a panic in the estuary at Seaside (photo: Tom Horning)
Also in the unusual nature category, a pair of fishermen
spotted a giant Leatherback Sea Turtle ambling around the waters off Garibaldi
in recent days. This is an extremely rare occurrence, even though their
consistent presence off the Oregon coast is a well-kept secret.
Tom Horning, with the Natural History Center in Seaside,
said there was another spectacular anchovy run about a month ago with
fish so manic they actually hopped out of the water.
|Pelicans herding the anchovies in the estuary (photo Horning)
“The fish acted differently this time, periodically
to nearly continuously having mass panic attacks and flipping out of the
water, mostly as the tide retreated and the fish were trapped by shoals,”
Horning said. “Maybe there was some spawning going on, but they
certainly would go nuts when the pelicans flew overhead.”
Horning said the pelicans swarmed around the river
and literally herded them. “The pelicans were seen on the river,
pushing the fish against the bank, trapping them there, and easily scooping
them up for dinner,” Horning said.
Beach Rentals, Lincoln City. Perfect for large family
vacations all the way down to a getaway lodging for two - with
over 25 vacation rental homes to choose from. A breathtaking collection
of craftsman or traditional beachfront homes, or oceanview houses
– from one to seven bedrooms. In various areas of Lincoln
City and overlooking the beach, with some in Depoe Bay. All kinds
of amenities are available, like hot tubs, decks, BBQ, rock fireplaces,
beamed ceilings and more. Some are new, some are historic charmers.
Lincoln City, Oregon. 1-(503)-232-5984. www.a1beachrentals.com.
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
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.
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.
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.
for Freaky, Creepy Mole Crabs on Oregon Coast Beaches The
little critters make the tideline bubble and feel really weird as they
run across your feet
Transformations of Oregon Coast Beaches Seasons change
and so do beaches, revealing different sides and a variety of eye-popping
Found on Oregon Beach May Be 80,000 Years Old - They
are the remnants of a forest apparently 80,000 years old, found at Hug
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
coast mileage chart & map
trips, suggested itineraries
Coast Lodging Specials
BeachConnection.net's 1,000 pages
Coast Real Estate
Things to Do
Beach, Oregon Lodging
Wheeler, Rockaway Beach Lodging
Beach Complete Guide
City Complete Guide
Oregon Complete Guide
TAKE THE VIRTUAL TOUR
Where the Columbia
meets the Pacific, Land of Lewis & Clark and loads of
atmosphere & history
Tillamook Head, family fun & broad, sandy beaches
lighthouse, upscale yet earthy, a huge monolith, fine eateries
& an art mecca
beaches, Nehalem and Wheeler's quirky beauty; laid back Rockaway
Barview, Bay City, Tillamook & an oceanfront ghost town
secret of the coast: Cape Meares, a lighthouse, Oceanside,
Netarts and Pacific City
A spouting horn
downtown, freaky hidden cliffs and whales, whales, whales
Time-tripping Nye Beach, a bustling
bayfront, marine science-central and two lighthouses
Constantly dramatic wave action, a mix
of the rugged & upscale
A lighthouse, ancient bayfront and miles
and miles of fluffy dunes