Welcome to the fourth post from our 2015 West Coast Swing as we called it. In today’s edition, we are heading to the rugged, beautiful Oregon Coast. As I’ve done in past articles, I’ve included passages from emails sent to family and friends from the road. One of the main reasons I wanted to travel the Oregon Coast was that a group I follow online and through a podcast (Improvephotography.com) had a photography meet up in February 2015 at Gold Beach on the southern coast. I really wanted to go but the costs of travel from the Midwest to get there were prohibitive for a three day event. Those who attended posted some really great photos and told fun and interesting stories about their experience. So hence the focus and fascination with the Oregon Coast.
Here’s an excerpt from one of our emails: “We then moved on to the Oregon Coast, starting out at the northern point, Cannon Beach, between rain showers and eventually down as far as Florence over a few days all while traveling on Highway 101. Hence the title for this edition comes from the country music group, Highway 101. More later on why we picked their song “Somewhere Tonight.” For those who may be unfamiliar, the road Highway 101 runs along the West Coast from the Canadian border to Mexico. It’s a winding, mostly two lane road (in Oregon anyway) that follows the coast line for the most part (read between the lines, it’s slow!). There are Oregon State Parks all along the Oregon portion, their parks are excellent and don’t charge entry fees although a few parks have parking fees. Some of the parks are only a 1/4 mile apart but provide lots of nice views of the Pacific coastline, beaches, mountains and lighthouses. One afternoon, we took a hike at the Cape Lookout State Park, we figured it was over 14,000 steps round trip with about 80 flights of stairs but our effort was rewarded with great views of the coast. So our conclusion is that the Oregon Coast is a very beautiful place, we are already talking about our next trip out here.”
This map provides a visual of the Oregon Coast and Highway 101. We traveled from Cannon Beach in the north to Brookings in the south.
This photo was taken just after a rain storm along Highway 101 just south of Tillamook. Lots of cars were stopped to take photos of the double rainbows.
The following are some photos we took on our hike in Cape Lookout State Park. Lots of beautiful views and then the obligatory selfie! On the trail, we met and talked with a couple that were recently married both from Louisiana. We had a good chat about our annual trip to the New Orleans JazzFest and hiking along the Oregon Coast. When we told them how many steps and stairs we’d already walked, they decided they were unprepared lacking water and proper foot wear.
As we traveled down the Coast, I tried to capture the beauty and uniqueness by taking some panorama photos with my iPhone. Here are a couple of examples:
In several of our many stops, we admired the many and varied “sea stacks.” These columns of rock are formed by the hydraulic action of the waves crashing against the rock. Stacks are important as nesting sites for a variety of seabirds such as gulls, terns, skimmers and etc. Stacks vary in size, hardness of the rock, and therefore longevity. Regardless they are unique and provide photographers a good source of subjects that look different from a variety of angles. Here are a few from my collection.
When we pulled of Highway 101, we would often walk along the beaches to feel the power of the water and of course do some photography. Here are few photos from our beach walks. Our weather for the most part during our stay was favorable but there were a few days of showers that brought out the clouds that added some atmosphere to our photos.
As we traveled more to the south part of the Coast, we stopped in the seaside town of Bandon, in fact it’s often referred to as Bandon-by-the-sea. Anyway as we were walking around the touristy part of town, I saw this scene and it’s one of favorite photos from our trip. I’ve titled it “No Dogs Allowed” goes along with the poster No Minors!
And bit further down the coast is boat that’s seen it’s much better days. Had a fun time trying to capture it’s beauty without distracting stuff in the background.
We spent a couple of days in the Brookings, Oregon area in very nice state park just south of the city and very near the Oregon/California state line. One day we headed south to the Redwood National and State Parks to see the majestic redwoods. Here’s are a couple photos that I hope captures the scene.
Our last night on the Oregon Coast provided an excellent opportunity to take some sunset photos. We had a great time, along with another photographer to watch the changing scene and take some unique photos above the fog that had rolled in from the west. Here are some of my favorites.
Here are a couple concluding shots, one demonstrating the calmness of the habitat and second the power of the water and it’s action.
And here’s the email that explains the title for this post by the group Highway 101: “And finally, the song title. We have slept in our trailer 26 straight nights in 12 different locations. A few times Donna woke up wondering where she was, as she became more conscious, she figured out that she was in the trailer but wasn’t sure what town or campground. All we know for sure is that we are somewhere tonight!”
I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed this journey down the Oregon Coast with us. It’s a place that will always be on my bucket list, can’t get enough of it to satisfy my soul.
Watch for some photos and experiences from our foray to the interior of Oregon, namely the Corvallis area and Crater Lake National Park.
Until then, take care.