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Quirky Details, Discoveries Along Oregon Coast: Seaside to Gold Beach

Published 04/25/21 at 11:55 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Quirky Details, Discoveries Along Oregon Coast: Seaside to Gold Beach

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(Oregon Coast) – Here’s some important travel planning for the Oregon coast: do NOT plan. Simply hit the beach, wander without a destination in mind and keep your eye on the details. Even better: pick a stretch of beach where you can’t see all of it, where some of it turns a corner or maybe disappears behind a structure. Then keep walking. (Photo courtesy Brent Lerwill - quirky little details at Coos Bay)

Do so and you’ll likely make some wild discoveries, especially if it’s a place you’ve never been.

Need some hints and suggestions? Take a gander at these surprises in the sands.

Blobs, Nobs and Honeycombs of Coos Bay. On the southern Oregon coast, Coos Bay’s Shore Acres State Park and Sunset Bay State Park have some of the more unique features on all the coastline. That’s because there’s a whole lot of geological forces taking place all at once there, still changing it today, and thus creating an intensely diverse set of features. (Above: Shore Acres oddities, courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast: Charleston, Coos Bay, North Bend)

Among them are these freaky little blob-like bits all over Sunset Bay, such as in the top photograph. Some spots have large, smoothed-out holes that look a tad like the homes in The Flintstones cartoons. Or at the ledges of Shore Acres, you’ll find an array of honeycombs, grayish cannon ball-looking things and lots of objects you can’t really describe.

This is not atypical of the south coast, either. Areas like Otter Point, parts of Bandon or Meyers Beach and more contain surreal yet wondrous little oddballs lurking in corners.

Mysterious Markers. It’s hard to know what to make of these little metallic plaques.

One sits at Neskowin (just north of Lincoln City), and the other at Hug Point (just south of Cannon Beach). Both are obviously quite old, and both show the name Pacific Power and Light as well as U.S. Geological Survey, and there are elevation markings on them. Both are obviously out of place in such a rugged setting.

The one at Neskowin sits on the rockface just before the trail atop Proposal Rock. You’ll find it just a few feet away from the trail entrance.

Hug Point’s little metal knob (above) is on the north side of the road carved out of the rocky headland, about halfway around the craggy, rut-ridden path. It’s the tiny road that allowed old Model T’s and horse-drawn carriages to get around the promontory in the early 20th century.

Oregon Coast Beach Connection did some checking on the Hug Point one years ago and even Pacific Power had nothing in its archives about these. A spokesman said he believed they were used in the ‘20s, but usually when surveying for power lines. There were never any built on these rocks, so the exact origin is a mystery.

You’ll also find similar little markers on the southern Oregon coast in random places.Hotels in Cannon Beach - Where to eat - Cannon Beach Maps and Virtual Tours

Courtesy Angi Wildt Gallery

Painted Rocks Garden, Seaside. If there’s ever a true reason amble about aimlessly on a beach, this would be it. A quirky manmade wonder that goes back decades, the painted rocks garden hides off to to the side, beside some shrubbery, somewhere between Avenue U and the actual cove.

If you’re lucky enough to stumble upon it, you’ll find a vast patch of small, rounded stones painted brightly, often with nifty wordage. The tradition goes back decades here, started by one family, then spreading and expanding.

See more on the painted rocks garden.

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A post shared by Kristina B. Thurman (@thurmygirl.503)

Kissing Rock Claustrophobia. A wee bit south of Gold Beach comes the towering and slightly trippy landmark of Kissing Rock. The formation itself resembles some rocky kissing action, and which side – east-facing or westward – depends on your angle while gazing at the thing.

There’s a lot of interesting little chunks and bits in and around the rock, but inside there’s some actual nooks and crannies. Parts of the rocks here open up into other rocky areas, like unfinished caves – or maybe those sets from the goofy movies Mystery Science Theater picks. It goes from Kissing Rock to mini makeout spots.

Some sections are smaller than others, and those are ripe for creating a sense of claustrophobia – which could be fun thrills in small doses.

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Quirky Details, Discoveries Along Oregon Coast: Seaside to Gold Beach
Photo courtesy Brent Lerwill - the wild, encrustred structures at Coos Bay

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