Spring sunset at Cape Arago on the Oregon Coast

Cape Arago, Oregon Coast

We spent the first night of a vacation road trip at Sunset Bay State Park, near Coos Bay Oregon. It has been too long since I made a trip for photography, and I was looking forward to capturing some good images. We arrived on a Friday night, hoping for some color in the sky.The ocean swells were rolling in from a storm offshore. Not as large as the waves from some winter storms, but large enough to send spray high into the air. The sandstone, as it erodes, forms many different shapes at Cape Arago.

Erosion of the tilted and faulted sandstone beds of varying hardness has resulted in a rocky scenery that has few counter parts anywhere else on the Oregon coast. The seaward edges of these terraces expose steeply tilted layers of sedimentary rock. These layers have varying resistance to erosion, resulting in a rocky coastline shaped by a pattern of faults that offset the brittle bedrock.

In many areas there are concretions, which develop when calcite crystallizes around an object within the sand. Most concretions form around marine invertebrates, but are not limited to marine life. This area gradually increases in diameter, causing the concretion to grow such as a pearl in an oyster. Concretions are more durable than the surrounding sandstone, and on weathered rock faces they commonly resemble stone cannon balls. Some concretions are visible in the lower left side of the image below.

Breaking waves at Cape Arago

I plan to come back on a day when the waves are not so high, making it safer for me and my camera, for more exploration. As the time for sunset grew closer, the clouds started thin out to the west. The clouds were becoming less gray and the sun was reflecting of the red sandstone. The surf continued to pound the rocks leaving a salt spray mist for the wind to carry along.

Ocean waves crashing against the sandstone formations at Cape Arago, Oregon

Close to Sunset the wind slowed down and the clouds opened up a little. This produced some nice color in the clouds and the light reflecting off the ocean. Shortly after this shot the sun dropped behind the clouds on the horizon.

Spring sunset at Cape Arago on the Oregon Coast

Once the sun was behind the clouds it got dark in a hurry. Note to self; always check the batteries in the headlamp before you have to walk back to camp in the dark. Next up Bandon to Brookings