Blog Report and Photos from the North Oregon Coast: In early July 2018 Vicki and I made a trip to the coast. We drove to Pacific City and then worked our way north over the border to Long Beach, Washington. Stopping along the way to shoot a few photographs and scouting for the sunset and sunrise to come. We had clear and sunny weather the first day.
Stopping at Neskowin on the way up from Newport, we took a walk along the beach and looked at the ghost forest. The tide was out and there were a lot of old stumps sticking up from the sand, but the light was flat and there weren’t any images worth keeping from there. Next stop was an overlook on Cape Lookout, looking north toward Netarts, with Netarts Bay in the upper right, and Three Arch Rocks in the upper left.
We checked into the Terimore Motel in Netarts and spent the afternoon exploring. We looked around Netarts, Oceanside, and went for a walk on Short Beach. After dinner, I drove to Cape Kiwanda for sunset, while Vicki watched the sunset from the balcony at the motel.
It was a very calm ocean with very little swell, so there were not many waves breaking on the sandstone cliffs at Cape Kiwanda.
The first series of waves splashed me, so I moved back a few feet to shoot this image.
There was a thin band of clouds just above the horizon, and that helped create a sunburst as the sun was setting.
As the sun set the lower layer of the sky lit up with gold and yellow that reflected off the ocean
Normally you would not be able to get to this spot, but the tide was out and the swells were only about 2-3 feet.
The Pacific City Beach access next to the Pelican Brewery, from Cape Kiwanda.
I drove back to Netarts, Oregon at 10:00pm, after capturing images at Cape Kiwanda. The sun stays up a long time near the summer solstice here. The next morning I got up before the sun and headed to Oceanside.
Sunday morning I went for an early morning stroll and crossed through the tunnel at Maxwell Point. I knew my headlamp was in my camera backpack, so I pulled it out only to find that the batteries were dead. It was a slow walk through the tunnel after my eyes adjusted to the dark. The sun was starting to send some light over the ocean, and I could see Cape Lookout in the distance.
The light grew brighter as the tide started washing in around the rocks.
Finally, the sun poked over the mountains to the east and lit up the clouds with nice warm light.
Shortly after sunrise the clouds started rolling in, the marine layer fog from the west and cloudy skies from the north. There were a few spots of blue still visible through the sunlit clouds.
Three Arch Rocks was just starting to catch the sunrise when I started back to the car. This time I waded around the front of Maxwell Point as the tide had not come in too far.
At 38 feet tall the Cape Meares Lighthouse is the shortest lighthouse on the Oregon Coast. It sits on a rocky promontory about 200 feet above the ocean, and was in operation from 1890 until 1963.
Long Beach Peninsula
Sunday night was cloudy in Long Beach with no chance of any night photography. We have a cabin in Long Beach to stay at, and I planned on getting out Monday for sunrise, but the skies stayed cloudy. Vicki and I decided to go for a hike at Leadbetter State Park after a stop at the bakery in town. On the way to Leadbetter State Park we stopped and got batteries for my headlamp. At Oysterville we looked at all the historical homes, stopped at the cemetery and then at Oysterville Sea Farms. This panoramic image is the view of Willapa Bay from the deck at Oysterville Sea Farms.
We got to Leadbetter State Park and took the Bay Loop trail to Bearberry Trail and along the way we came across this flower, which I think is an Oregon Checker Mallow.
The Bearberry Trail leads to the Beach Trail, where there were hundreds of sand pipers eating at the edge of the surf. This one reminded me of the kids playing in the surf, who would squeal and throw their arms in the air every time a wave came in. I did not hear any squealing though.
Along the way we say tracks of a small herd of elk that had wandered down the beach. Then we spotted this eagle just sitting on the stump watching us walk by.
Before sunset, I looked at the Skyfire cloud color app for the best spot to get some color for sunset. The sunset looked promising further down the coast by Fort Stevens. I left Long Beach with enough time to get to Fort Stevens. As drove through Chinook, Washington and approached the Astoria Megler Bridge, the weather actually looked worse there than back toward Illwaco. So, I turned around and headed back toward the North Head Lighthouse, hoping the small sliver of open sky would stay there until sunset. Just before the sun dropped over the horizon it shined through the gap and bathed the lighthouse in a warm glow offsetting the dark clouds behind it.
Ecola State Park
Tuesday we drove to Arch Cape to see some relatives from Texas. They flew up for a week or so of vacation on the Oregon Coast. After visiting for the day, we drove to Cannon Beach for dinner. We stopped at Bruce’s Candy Kitchen for some treats for the grand kids, yes and us too. Then we drove to Ecola State Park for sunset. The sun lit up the clouds over the mountains and the sea stacks off Ecola Point. Haystack Rock off Cannon Beach is visible in the background.
The Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, was nick-named Terrible Tilly. Winter storms would often send waves breaking over the 160-foot-high lighthouse. The lighthouse was in use from 1881 until it was decommissioned in 1957.
The Tillamook Rock Lighthouse is 1.2 miles offshore. Someone climbed the rock close to the ocean to watch this sunset.
The image below clearly shows the Belt of Venus. The Belt of Venus is an atmospheric condition visible shortly before sunrise or after sunset. It causes a pinkish glow extends roughly 10–20° above the horizon. Unlike alpenglow, the sunlight is refracted by fine particulates, that are suspended in the atmosphere, and cause the rosy arch of the Belt. It hovers high in the atmosphere and persists long after sunset or before sunrise.
As twilight progresses, the glow is separated from the horizon by the dark band of Earth’s shadow. The arch’s light pink color is due to the backscatter of reddened light from the rising or setting sun.
The name Belt of Venus, alludes to the girdle or breast-band, of the Ancient Greek goddess Aphrodite. This is customarily equated with the Roman goddess Venus. The greatest separation between Venus and the Sun is only about 46 degrees. This means that the planet Venus, even when visible, is never located opposite the sun, and is never located in the Belt of Venus.