Oregon Beaches Crammed with Interesting Finds This Holiday Week
(Oregon Coast) – It's Whale Watch Week, it's full of stormwatch possibilities, New Year's Eve is coming to the coast, and there are some odd finds all over the beaches like a rarely-seen shipwreck, a ghost forest and prime conditions for agate hunting. There’s much ado about a lot of things on the Oregon coast this holiday week. (Above: agate-rich gravel beds emerge at Oceanside)
The big Whale Watch Week features volunteers all along the Oregon coast each day this week, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They’ll be at high vantage points like the Inn at Spanish Head in Lincoln City, Cape Perpetua near Yachats or Ecola Creek State Park in Cannon Beach, helping visitors spot whales.
But that's going to be enormously difficult some days of this week, especially if you’re getting knocked around by howling winds on exposed spots like these. The Oregon coast is currently under a high wind watch through Tuesday morning. Conditions like these usually make for huge waves, which are fun to look at in the stormwatching sense, but they don’t allow you to see whales very much.
Whale Watch Week may take it on the chin some days this week, but those wanting to catch monster storm waves should get a good show.
This week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is also huge for families who snag a vacation rental, and many of those agencies are still reporting openings. See the Oregon Coast Vacation Rental page.
Up on the north coast, winter waves have taken a big enough bite out of the sand that an ancient shipwreck has appeared – only the second time it’s appeared in about 35 years. The Emily G. Reed crashed at the mouth of the Nehalem River in 1908, and in those 100 years it’s broken into pieces and settled mostly into the sands at Rockaway Beach. See Secret Oregon Coast Shipwreck Shows Up after 35-Year Absence
Now, the largest chunk is visible at the tide line in Rockaway, at the end of 2nd Street. Stay away from this beach if the waves are still crazy, however. You could get swept out to sea.
Agate hunting is reportedly quite good in many spots along the coast, like Oceanside. Winter waves have scoured these areas out quite a bit and are revealing massive gravel beds all along this particular beach, and others. Again, keep safety in mind and stay off the beach if the waves even periodically come near the vegetation line.
Down on the central coast, some ghost forests have shown up around Seal Rock and Waldport. These are stumps from a forest about 4,000 years old, which were preserved by being immersed in sand for these millennia. More on the ghost forests here.
Then, for quite literally the finale, New Year’s Eve on the coast is full of some particularly engaging and lovely ways to end the year. Numerous bars along the beaches will be especially lively and interesting, and there are plenty of fancy dinner possibilities. See Oregon Coast New Year's Eve Roundup: Hotels, Bars and Dinner
For a list of awesome storm watch spots on the Oregon coast....
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