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Holiday Weekend Offers Finds on Oregon Coast Like Agates
(Oregon Coast) – The big Martin Luther King holiday weekend usually helps smooth out the rough economic waters of the coastal winter a little bit, and this one should be no different. At least businesses along the Oregon coast are hoping so, as a brief ice storm during this week is leaving some visitors a bit skiddish about heading to the surf. (Above: Agates are found in abundance in Oceanside gravel beds, among other spots on the coast)
But it seems the weather will be long cleared up by then, and a host of interesting aspects along the beaches promises some nifty finds. Agates are plentiful along the coast, some stunning items have been found because of this, weird objects have been revealing themselves in low sand all around the beaches, and lodging prices remain exceptionally low this time of year.
Weather this weekend will be more than slightly cooperative, even almost balmy. Temperatures are going to be around the 50's during the day, and winds are predicted to be quite low most of the time. There are strong chances of showers throughout the weekend, and it will likely be at least mostly cloudy, but the rain usually doesn’t last all day in a constant stream. In fact, it’s likely conditions will shift fairly often, while remaining warm the entire time.
Agate hunting has been good along the coast, with some spots like Oceanside showing thick layers where little treasures can be found.
K.T. Meyers, with Newport agate shop Facets, said there have been hotspots found, but it’s impossible to relay these to the public as conditions can change rapidly, even within the same day. Gravel beds that are revealed by low sand can suddenly shift, sometimes within the space of six hours.
Meyers said you absolutely have to hit the beach and look for yourself. “But then look 100 yards to the north and 100 yards to the south of you,” Meyers said. “They’ve been finding hotspots anywhere from Yachats to Otis. They’ve been finding some interesting pieces; some artifacts have been found.”
Among these amazing discoveries are agate arrowheads and an Alaskan fish hook made from bone or deer horn, perhaps 100 to 200 years old.
She also added it was important to dispel the myth that you can find plenty of agates at night. “Nooooo,” she said. “The Coast Guard has better things to do than to pick up people out of the ocean who’ve been walking the beach at night with a flashlight.”
Meyers said that besides the obvious dangers of increased likelihood of getting nabbed by a sneaker wave, even with a flashlight you’re not going to be able to see much.
There are other finds to be made at the beach right now, including the treasures that low sand levels might reveal and the oddities the ocean has tossed onshore.
“It is always cozy this time of year to cuddle up by woodstove with a good book and cup of coffee,” said Janice Zagata, at Ocean Inn in Manzanita.
Starfish Point in Newport noted beachcombing for interesting objects has been good at their end of Agate Beach, as the ocean has washed up a lot of funky debris.
Also in Newport, Marilyn Taylor from The Landing At Newport, said there’s even more going on culturally. “ ‘A Girl Named Alice,’ as in Wonderland, is still playing at the performing arts center,” she said.
Lodgings are still at tempting, low prices and offering plenty of deals. With a slow economy adding to the slow season, they’ve been anxious to coax people to the beaches.
Brian Hines, owner of San Dune Inn in Manzanita, said it’s been an exceedingly sluggish January so far, but he’s still hopeful for more to book nights for the big weekend.
“Historically, the MLK weekend has meant about 80 percent occupancy for the Saturday night,” he said. “It is of course mainly a federal/state/city type holiday, so the private sector doesn't really factor in - except for any normal Saturday expectations. The changeable weather will be the decider.”
At A1 Vacation Rentals in Lincoln City, Karen Scrutton was simply glad for the economic boost as they’ve been filling up for the coming weekend.
“Been a slow winter and this is an unexpected treat of a weekend,” Scrutton said
Many, in fact perhaps all, lodgings along the Oregon coast are still sticking to special winter rates for the weekend. Among them include Trollers Lodge in Depoe Bay, OceanEdge Vacation Rentals in Manzanita, and Oceanfront Cottage in Oceanside. A full list of rentals and lodgings with availability and special prices can be found at the Oregon coast lodging section.
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