What You Missed on Oregon Coast This Week
(Oregon Coast) – It is a week of landslides, flood situations, downpours, tunnel closures and all sorts of other inconveniences to and from the coast, and up and down 101. But at one point after a horrendous deluge, the sky clears up and the stars erupt in a massive show, and the following morning sees blue skies and some jaw-dropping beauty along the Oregon coast (above: Wheeler and Nehalem Bay on Wednesday).
Tuesday, the air is thick with a raging rainstorm along the north coast. From Cannon Beach to Tillamook, there’s little else but the likelihood of getting drenched as you walk from your car to wherever you’re going. High water warning signs sit in plenty of places in areas like Wheeler, Rockaway, Bay City and Tillamook. But luckily, the tides have calmed considerably and little happens, except your windshield wipers get a workout.
Sometime later that night, things shift radically. The clouds largely disappear, and all of a sudden you’re left with no rain, a raging full moon and a sea of stars hovering above the actual sea itself.
At spots like Manzanita, this results in stunning moments, where the stars of the greater universe blend with the starry dots of bright lights from fishing boats on the horizon. Above Manzanita, on the overlooks of Neahkahnie, this is especially memorable. Below, it's stark and surreal.
The next day, Wednesday, plays tricks on the kids of upper Tillamook County: a landslide near Rockaway Beach causes school officials to cancel classes, even though the roadblock itself – which basks beneath glowing, sunny skies – is cleared rather quickly. It’s chilly but stunning outdoors, and this “slide day” results in gorgeous, slightly sun-drenched scenes along Tillamook Bay (above).
Inching southward through Tillamook, past vast pastoral lands of green where remaining flood waters reflect a deep blue sky, you eventually come to the tiny hamlet of Tierra Del Mar, just north of Pacific City. Low sand levels have released the rock hounds in great numbers: plenty are perusing the gravelly beach for agates.
Pacific City, specifically the Shorepine Rentals complex, allows extraordinary and yet different views of Cape Kiwanda and Haystack Rock, normally not seen from the usual spots. The sun is dipping low at this point and it begins to cast a faint reddish glow on the cape and even the beach grass.
Then, at Lincoln City’s Roads End district, at the very north end of town, the red glow gains in intensity and blankets the land masses that typify this area, including Cascade Head. It’s mesmerizing.
A particularly stunning sunset caps off this day of captivating beauty.
If that wasn’t enough, just after sunset, Lincoln City shows off more brash colors. Fishing boats again add to the atmosphere. This was taken from the central beaches of Lincoln City, just below the Sea Horse Motel.
With a full moon standing guard over the sky, Depoe Bay continues the captivating sights around midnight. The buoys blink in their respective colors, and you can see the traces certain currents make in the ocean as the waves shimmy their way to the basalt shore. Fishing boats again make interesting light points in the distance.
This scene – taken from one of the vacation rentals from Trollers Lodge – doesn’t provide the full sound effect, however. You can feel some of the waves smack the rock structure, just below the deck of the rental. Indeed, even from the motel itself, you can occasionally feel that rumble.
This, among many other reasons, is why you should’ve been on the coast today. The sun won’t wait for you. Thursday is supposed to be a bit rainy and gray again on the Oregon coast.
But to paraphrase, the old saying: If you don’t like the weather here, wait 15 minutes – or maybe even just 15 hours, to be absolutely certain.
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