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Goofy, Puzzling Names at One Oregon Coast Burgh: Three Curios of Depoe Bay

Published 04/29/22 at 7:05 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Goofy Name Puzzles of One Oregon Coast Burgh: 3 Oddities of Depoe Bay

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(Depoe Bay, Oregon) – Just what is in a name, anyway?

If you're wandering the central Oregon coast town of Depoe Bay, you may discover some amusing if not puzzling names for some little nooks and crannies. (Above: the Depoe Bay Scenic View Area on Coast Ave.)

And boy, does Depoe Bay have nooks 'n crannies. Tiny little hangouts, sometimes quite secret, abound in this small town. Occasionally, the town assigns oddball monikers to such spots, as if they've picked them from a bunch of floating golf balls. Or sometimes they haven't really given names at all.

Exactly that is the case with two cliffside parks within Depoe Bay city limits. They actually, almost literally don't have a name for either. So two rather amazing but fairly unknown Oregon coast spots were given the same name: Depoe Bay Scenic View Area.

The same park name at North Point

One sits at the rather secretive set of cliffs behind a neighborhood, along Vista St. at the northern section of town, generally known as North Point. Another Depoe Bay Scenic View Area lies along Coast Ave., sort of behind the firehouse.

As one city official told Oregon Coast Beach Connection a few years back, they don't officially have names. Even though you will find lovely handmade, painted rocks with those names on them, apparently designating them officially so. But that's not so, according to the city's Brady Weidner. Among city employees they're just generally known as North Point and the other as Graham St. Park, since it's close to that cross street.

View from the Coast Ave. version of the park

Apparently an official naming of either just hasn't happened yet.

North Point is one of the more stunning spots on the entire Oregon coast, with a host of intriguing basalt cliffs that contain all sorts of mind-bending shapes and wonders. It's also one of the few spots on the coastline where you can feel the rocks vibrate with the slamming of the waves. This is a serious delight to discover.

North Point

The park along Coast Ave. starts off with a dive into a virtual tunnel of shrubbery and overhanging trees, rather dark and mysterious at first glance. You can't see where it leads until you're almost there – and “there” is a wondrous ocean view with a single bench.

Goofy Name Puzzles of One Oregon Coast Burgh: 3 Oddities of Depoe Bay
North Point

There are other little micro parks along the waterfront of Depoe Bay, between the Whale Watch Center and up beyond Tidal Raves. One is another truly quirky addition to the area's geography.

It's got the head-scratching title of Cat Lick Park: a simply grassy area by the tides with a hand-carved stone with that name on it.

Why Cat Lick Park? It came from a handful of off-the-cuff remarks / jokes made by city staff about pouring buttermilk on the stone, and if you did that you'd have “every cat in the neighborhood licking it.” So it simply stuck.

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