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Part 2: Seven Freakiest Things I've Seen on the Oregon Coast

Published 04/27/2019 at 3:53 PM PDT
By Andre' Hagestedt

Part 2: Seven Freakiest Things I've Seen on the Oregon Coast(Oregon Coast) – Freaky glowing sand, an unexplained glow on the horizon, and sea foam performing bizarre aerial stunts. Sounds like an alternate dimension or an alien world, doesn’t it? Nope, it’s simply the Oregon coast.

In part one of this list of the weird, I went back decades, almost to the very beginning of my experiences with the area (which actually would be as a kid, growing up in Salem and visiting Yachats around 1970, but that’s another story). The above examples started in the ‘80s, and then I moved forward to ‘93 and just a tad beyond.

I also let loose one bit truly stranger than fiction: I grew up hating the coast. An absolutely crazy concept for someone who now admits a complete obsession for the region. These early experiences helped cement my fanaticism for these beaches, and there’s a lot more on these and other finds in the book series I’ve written recently (there’s currently four – soon to be ten of them).

This list of seven had to be broken up into two parts because the article was so huge. Here are the final four of the weirdest stuff I've personally seen on these beaches.

Rainbow in a Raging Pink Sky (above). Sometime in spring 2002, this scene presented itself just east of Pacific City. A crazy, angry bank of clouds was moving in from the east, while the coastal sunset hit it with wild colors and tinted it in pinks and reds. Rain was beginning to fall, and lightning could be seen in the distance. For a brief time, this collection of conditions created a rainbow in the midst of this almost sepia-toned moment.

Its blues and greens were largely cut out by the fierce cast of the reds from behind, but it remained visible. Down the road, in Neskowin, the lightning was directly overhead, and created the most thunderous, cataclysmic noise imaginable.

Lighthouse In a Bubble. Sometime in the early 2000’s, Cape Meares Lighthouse went under the knife for a few months of renovations and refurbishing. Few things were more startling than to walk up to this beauty and find it all covered up in a white bubble – reminiscent of those scenes in the movie “E.T” when the government covered up the family’s house in a kind of quarantine.

It was freaky and pretty funny, and I was lucky enough to see it in person.

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Crusty Historic Cannon. One of the more remarkable finds of the last century happened at Arch Cape in 2008, when a teenager from Lake Oswego stumbled across the remnants of two legendary cannon that were first spotted here in the 1840s, but had been missing since. They came from a shipwreck way up in Astoria, and the third cannon was pulled from the surf back then, later creating the name Cannon Beach.

For awhile, Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) had them soaking in giant tubs at Nehalem Bay State Park, part of the preparation for restoration. They were covered in a thick layer of “concretion” - various earthy elements that had compacted around them over 150 years.

I was lucky enough to be at the big press conference on the subject and got to see and touch them in this state. It’s a rare moment in Oregon history that I got to be a part of (and admittedly it’s not weird, per se, just remarkable.) They’ve since been fully restored and are at the maritime museum in Astoria. See the original press conference

Bubbles in the Surf of North Oregon Coast. Periodically, visitors and residents alike on the coast get startled by the occurrence of brown waves, usually appearing in the form of brown goo or large blobs of the stuff. This happens in the Seaside/Gearhart area more than anywhere else, and it often causes visitors there to run to local stores and tourism agencies to inquire about whether this is pollution or an oil spill – or whatever unsavory possibility.

There’s nothing to be alarmed about, and in fact it’s a sign of a healthy ocean. The cause is a lot of phytoplankton in the water, something that happens in great numbers in that area because of the nutrients coming down from the Columbia River. These feed the tiny, microscopic plants and allow for enormous blooms of the stuff – so much so they appear as bundles of brown bubbles. The picture here is from about 2011. Oregon Coast Lodgings in these areas - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours - More photos below:

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