Light the way

Along the coast south of Tillamook, we found a number of interesting lighthouses.

Some are pretty, some are stalwart, and some are historic.

Probably all of them are historic, because they date back to a time when much of the navigating by mariners was visual.

These days, electronic signals provide GPS information that is more accurate…and feeds into the navigation systems on today’s boats.

Still, several of these lighthouses continue to provide a beam of light out on the edge of the continental shore.

The Heceta Head Lighthouse beam was live even during the daylight when we passed it.DSC_6970It’s such a classic structure, and even the supporting buildings have been beautifully maintained.

Another classic lighthouse stands at the point of Yaquina Head, the federal “Outstanding Natural Area” we showed you ever so briefly in the previous post.DSC_7043

Interestingly, just a few miles away is the Yaquina Bay lighthouse, looking more like a house than a lighthouse. Its utility was to contain the residence for the keeper of the light within the structure of the light tower…possible because it was located on the edge of town (Newport), safely up high and away from the ocean’s fury.DSC_7130

Farther south from Tillamook

We took another day to visit Yaquina Head and the nearby town of Newport.

The Head is where we stopped briefly on an earlier trip and saw the Peregrine Falcon chicks. All four had fledged just a few days before this visit.

The full name of the federal nature installation on the Head is “Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area.”

Indeed, just look:DSC_7110DSC_7126DSC_7219

I took that second photo just because I was impressed with the tenacity of the one tree…not only had it chosen to grow on a massive rock that faced the ocean’s constant fury, but it overcame whatever adversity it encountered with its roots so that it grew bigger and stronger than ever!

The third photo impressed me once again at the willingness of so many aquatic life forms to grow in the roughest places…and their ability to do so with lovely results. This tiny pond contains dozens…maybe hundreds…of anemones that provide a deep green color to what might otherwise be just a dark, slimy pool. They actually wait here at low tide, figuratively holding their breath until fresh waves of sea water wash over them at high tide!

The first photo provides a distant look at the town of Newport, Oregon. I am giving this lovely town short shrift in this post by showing a photo of just one of its interesting features: the bridge that crosses the Yaquina River near where it empties into the ocean.

I have enjoyed a number of Oregon coastline bridges, many of which were designed by Conde McCullough, as was this one. It is listed in the US National Register of Historic Places.

Oh, and I couldn’t resist including the daytime moon high overhead.DSC_7659

South from Tillamook

We took Grandma Barb with us on a trip to Pacific City.

You’ll remember it as the place with the very large rock just off shore with a gap on one side:DSC_5185

Just to right of this picture is a tall, sandy peninsula. It’s not terribly fascinating, although it is pretty stinkin tall…

However, on the other side is a whole ‘nother world.DSC_6787

Not just because it has a gorgeous loooong, flat sandy beach…

Look how we got onto the beach:DSC_6895

Most fascinating to me was how that big, sandy peninsula hatched such a bunch of big rocks at its end…fun to climb and fun to shoot the waves.


Not everything was big and rough…the driftwood protects some soft sweetness.


Climb every mountain

At least climb Mt Hood when you’re near Portland!

We did…with Ross & Ryan…and Grandpa Fell!

At least, we drove up to the lodge, then climbed trails about 150 vertical feet farther.

Obviously a gorgeous day. This was while Portland was experiencing 90 degree days in June, so we were very comfortable up on the mountain.

Sorry to shovel pictures at you, but I couldn’t pick my favorite…so you get them all!

The one picture of a distant peak is Mt Jefferson, south from Mt Hood.

North from Tillamook

We’ve taken you north with us as we traveled clear across the Columbia River into Washington State.

This trip is shorter but no less ambitious…because we’re stopping at several great places that will take time!

First stop, about 26 miles north to the town of Manzanita. It’s a fun place that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but treats tourists seriously! Our favorite restaurant there had an outdoor patio and burritos with allllll the right ingredients…it was called “Left Coast Siesta.” See what I mean?

From its beach, the view north catches the edge of a cliff that supports US 101 as it climbs Mt Neahkahnie.

DSC_6530Notice the little see-through notch in the knife-edge?

A few miles up the road, just past Oswald West State Park, a few homes occupy a small stretch of coastline so tightly that there just isn’t any public access….but I sneaked a peek. Too bad we can’t all go there….nice beach….

DSC_6567Perhaps the sleeper stop of the day is Hug Point. Lovely parking lot, easy access to the beach, nice stretch of sand before hitting a nice gradual slope for the surf to make long runs in and out.

But it’s b-o-r-i-n-g to see from the parking lot, and you might pass it up…as we did the first time past.

However, while reading about some other coastal high points, I stumbled upon something cool about Hug Point…see for yourself:

DSC_6680Very small caves and a waterfall in this scene, with some other caves nearby, and even the remains of an old elevated roadway that was once chiseled in the rock face (I couldn’t get to it on this occasion because the tide was too far in).

This journey ends at Cannon Beach, 40 miles north of Tillamook. Its beach is massive and smooth, there are enough cabins and hotels for alllll the tourists who might show up, and more restaurants than even Google can keep track of.

And it has Haystack Rock.


Flying high

Not everything is as well-grounded as rocks on the shore….

We found paragliders high over Tillamook Bay. Unlike the Salt Lake City paragliders we saw, these guys couldn’t count on thermals to keep them up high enough to land back on the hill….they all eventually landed on the beach waaaay down there in the distance.
DSC_4979Then we saw this other one….

Like a rock

I love the contrast of sharp, hard, dark rocks with the soft, flowing, splashing ocean water and white foam.

Throw in the setting sun, and I’m blissful….

But it’s not just the beauty of the contrasts….it’s the constant change.

When I shoot waves, I’ll sometimes shoot several hundred images in order to catch the best combination of curl, splash, and color!

The following pictures were taken over a period of just 15 minutes. They’re of the same rock…one is of the other side. I had to move the tripod numerous times to avoid the wash of water!

I hope you’ll click each one so it fills your screen….the details are so sweet!

….the tiny explosion of water at the end of the log on the beach…that catches the sun’s color in its tendrils.

….the swirls of foam on the beach, and the wash of foam that drains down the side of the rock.

….the texture of water as it streams onto the beach…and the few sparkly golden streams from the splash against the dark rock.

….the smooth ripples of beach sand…looking like really great abdominal muscles…that glisten and reflect the soft pink of the clouds.