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Posts Tagged ‘Oregon Coast beaches’

Travel Theme: Pathways

Posted by Jody on May 25, 2013

Lincoln City, Oregon

Lincoln City, Oregon

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.
~Henry David Thoreau


This week’s Travel Theme from Where’s My Backpack? is Pathways.


Posted in Pacific Coast Beaches, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , , | 18 Comments »

“Isn’t the sea wonderful?”

Posted by Jody on April 16, 2013

Along the Oregon Coast

Along the Oregon Coast

Down at the base of the cliffs were heaps of surf-worn rocks or little sandy coves inlaid with pebbles as with ocean jewels; beyond lay the sea, shimmering and blue, and over it soared the gulls, their pinions flashing silvery in the sunlight.

“Isn’t the sea wonderful?’ said Anne… Don’t you think it would be nice to wake up at sunrise and swoop down over the water and away out over that lovely blue all day; and then at night to fly back to one’s nest? Oh, I can just imagine myself doing it.

~L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables



Posted in Beach Birding, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , | 21 Comments »

Weekend’s Rock!

Posted by Jody on December 30, 2012

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, Oregon

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, Oregon

Haystack Rock is located near Cannon Beach on the North coast of Oregon, Haystack Rock is a unique monolith that attracts wildlife and tourists alike. Towering 235 feet over the beach, the Rock is home to nesting seabirds in the summer and marine invertebrates all year long. It is one of the largest “sea stacks” on America’s Pacific coast.

The rocky reefs of Haystack Rock and the neighboring Needles have abundant and rich intertidal life. Tidepoolers are drawn to its wonders every day. As many as 200,000 people visit Haystack Rock every year, mostly during the summer months when the tidepools are teeming and the nesting seabirds, proudly showing off breeding plumage, are busy introducing little ones into the world. Haystack Rock is protected under Fish and Wildlife regulations as a Marine Garden and a seabird nesting refuge.

Source: City of Cannon Beach

Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, Oregon

We stop for a leisurely barefoot stroll on Cannon Beach every time we visit Oregon’s wild and wonderful coast.  The wide, sandy shoreline somehow always seems uncrowded.  Cannon Beach’s beautiful, clean strand is  always worth the time.

Be sure to bring your binoculars so you can spot the well-coiffed resident Tufted Puffins throughout the spring and summer months!


Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Beach Birding, Pacific Coast Beaches, Tide Pools, Weekend's Rock | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

A Halloween Tale: Beware the Excirolana kincaidi!

Posted by Jody on October 31, 2012

 The Creepy Crawlies of Whaleshead Beach, Oregon

Whaleshead Beach. Oregon

You may have noticed that when our family travels, we frequently photograph beach signs. We actually read them, too!  Other beach goers will often pass us by as we stand there at the sandy entrance, perusing the notice packed signboards. Our guess is that a rather large percentage of people don’t pay much attention to these particular seaside information centers.

This way to Whaleshead Beach!

When Greg and I headed down the path to Whaleshead Beach, we couldn’t wait to see the view unfold. There it was: a magnificent rock jutting from the sun-drenched sea, looking just like a colossal breaching whale. It was a gorgeous sight!

Beautiful Whaleshead Beach, Oregon

Then we saw it: An 8 ½ x 11” piece of paper encased in plastic, attached to the official wooden signboard, that sent chills up our spines.  Excirolana kincaidi ?!

The Creepy Crawlies of Whaleshead Beach, Oregon: Sand beach isopod (Excirolana Kincaidi)

“These isopods alternately bury themselves in the sand and actively forage for dead animal matter.  They seem to be especially active in the shallow swash of retreating waves on sandy beaches.  Large numbers may quickly congregate around an animal carcass that washes in on a sandy beach while it is still in the water, and quickly strip the carcass of flesh.  This is the most common Excirolana species along the Washington coast.  Predators include sanderlings.”

Greg found the original of this posting at a There you’ll see much more information and additional technical specifics about these little flesh eaters of the Pacific Northwest sands, including pictures far more frightening than this one. The section that is highlighted in yellow on the sign is prominent in the university’s write up:

“Note:  Very few crustaceans will actually bite you but this nasty little creature is definitely one of them.  Barefoot waders in an area with Excirolana will find that the animals quickly swim toward and swarm over bare feet, biting them so hard that blood will be flowing within moments.  Since the animals are so small the bites are tiny but painful like a pin prick, and the animals are often present in swarms of thousands.  Rapidly shuffling the feet reduces but does not eliminate the number of bites.”

Although they seem a useful creature in keeping the beaches clean and sanitary (nature provides for all things), there seems to also be an undesirable side effect to having them around.  This note certainly killed any idea we had of heading to the water’s edge, even on the most beautiful, toasty October day!

Wouldn’t these little beasts be perfect for an Alfred Hitchcock movie? Move over, birds!

*A tag-team post by Greg and Jody*


Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Beach Safety Tips, Pacific Coast Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Travel Theme: Spooky

Posted by Jody on October 29, 2012

The beautiful beach at Fort Stevens State Park and visible remains of the Peter Iredale.

OK, so maybe we’re not really talking “spooky” here. It really would have been bone-chillingly scary though, for the officers and crew of the Peter Iredale, a four-masted steel barque that was headed for Portland, Oregon on October 25, 1906. Due to the deadly combination of the rising tide, dense fog, strong winds and rough seas, the Peter Iredale ran aground in the dark of that fateful night. Interestingly enough, not one soul was lost among the ship’s crew of 27, including two stowaways. With any other fate, this scene might have been considered quite eerie!

The Remains of the Peter Iredale

Over one hundred years since it ran aground, the bones of the Peter Iredale’s rusted bow and masts are still visible jutting out from the sandy beach at Fort Stevens State Park near Warrenton, Oregon. Easily accessible, this shipwreck is a crowd-pleasing tourist stop, especially if one is interested in the history and lore of the Graveyard of the Pacific. It certainly was a thriller for me!

The Remains of the Peter Iredale

To find the remains of the Peter Iredale: When heading north on Oregon Hwy 101 from Seaside veer left onto Columbia Beach Road/Ridge Road. Turn left on Peter Iredale Road. It’s a short jaunt over the dunes to the shipwreck from the rather large parking lot. The route is very well signed. Restrooms are available here.

Related links:

Maryport Sailing Ship Peter Iredale (Mighty Seas)

Transcript of the Naval Court findings (Issued in London by the Board of Trade on the 24th December 1906.)

The Oregon History Project

Graveyard of the Pacific (Oregon State Parks)

Fort Stevens State Park

 This week’s Travel Theme is “Spooky.”


Posted in Pacific Coast Beaches, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Travel Theme: Animals – Tidepooling in Bandon, Oregon

Posted by Greg on October 10, 2012

This way to the beach! Sunset in Bandon, Oregon

Jody and I just returned from the Oregon coast where we did two of my favorite things: exploring tidepools and seeing the grandkids (more on that soon)! The best tidepools we were able to visit close to low tide were in Bandon, a small sea coast town in southwestern Oregon, about 90 miles north of the California boarder. We stayed at a nice motel right at the beach on Coquille Point,  where we,  in shorts and water sandals, were able to head right down the stairs to investigate the beach. The late evening air and cold ocean water combined to create a numbing effect. Boy, did we freeze our fingers and toes! We were undeterred, though. The landscape was amazing, and the amount of life in the tidepools was impressive.

Take a closer look! Do you see the sea stars already?

These were the brightest green sea anemones I had ever seen. It looked like the sea stars enjoyed the real estate around the anemones, because large quantities had settled in between them. I was like a kid in a candy store! There were caves and passages in and through the huge rocks, and they were all full of tidepool animals.

We hope you enjoy these photos as much as we enjoyed taking them!

Go ahead, get even closer!

You’ll have to get your feet wet here.

Bandon’s tidepools and rocks are teeming with colorful marine life!

Sea stars, sea anemones, mussels and barnacles in Bandon’s tide pools.

Colorful sea stars and sea anemones on Bandon’s beach.

How many sea stars?

Sea Anemones

Fellow tidepoolers enjoying a sea star supper in Bandon, Oregon.

A farewell salute from a Bandon local.

Bandon, Oregon

If you would like to read more about tide pools and tide pool animals, here are a few related posts:

Tidepool Etiquette 101 

Starfish or Sea Star?

Southern California Sea Anemones

A Visit to the Tide Pools at Cabrillo National Monument

What Will You Find in a Southern California Tide Pool?

This week’s “Travel Theme: Animals” comes from Ailsa at Where’s My Backpack?

*Another tag-team post by Greg and Jody*


Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Pacific Coast Beaches, Tide Pools | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments »

It’s your turn! :-)

Posted by Jody on September 6, 2012

One of my favorite getaway strands is Cannon Beach on the Oregon Coast! The seashore’s soft golden sand is often strewn with driftwood, and awe inspiring Haystack Rock (towering 235 feet above the beach) lends Cannon Beach an amazing natural backdrop.

Looking toward Cannon Beach from Ecola State Park, Oregon

It’s your turn!  🙂 What are your Oregon Coast must-dos? Do you have a great hidden beach? How about a favorite beachcombing spot? Sunset perch? Tidepool cove?

I’m all ears!

Posted in Pacific Coast Beaches, Today's Special | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Roads End

Posted by Jody on July 5, 2012

Here’s to finding agates and “hidden beaches” on the Oregon Coast! What could be more fun for beach lovers? Greg and I will be heading to the Oregon Coast in October, and Roads End will definitely be on our list. Thanks for the great tips, Oregon Coasty!


The beaches of Lincoln City are frequently punctuated by access points. There is one access point that is so far north they call it Roads End. Well, they call it Roads End State Recreation Site, to be entirely truthful. 

I’m not sure about the particulars, but the area known as Roads End isn’t exactly part of Lincoln City. The houses in the area are something like 75% vacation rentals, which is a shame in my opinion, as it could be a thriving beach loving community otherwise.

If you are coming to the Oregon Coast to hunt agates, this beach is a must. The agate beds were out far into the spring this year, and come back in the winter every year. However, if you don’t like company you might consider a different beach. Those, 75% vacation rentals are filled with vacationers who go to the beach 100% of the time it seems.

If you walk north until…

View original post 143 more words

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Pacific Coast Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Beach Lovers’ Paradise of the Pacific Northwest, Cannon Beach, Oregon

Posted by Jody on March 19, 2012

Looking South to Cannon Beach, Oregon

Even if you’ve never been to Cannon Beach, Oregon, I’d be mighty surprised if you haven’t at least seen a picture or two of its celebrated landmark Haystack Rock. Haystack Rock, towering 235 feet above the beach, together with the Needles (two tall rocks jutting straight out of the surf nearby), form every beach photographer’s dream shot. This famous monolith and its rocky companions showcase the rugged beauty of  northern Oregon’s Pacific coastline and add even more natural beauty to an already perfect strand.

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, Oregon

Tidepoolers and birdwatchers are drawn to Cannon Beach for the amazing variety this seashore offers. According to the City of Cannon Beach,  “The rocky reefs of Haystack Rock and the neighboring Needles have abundant and rich intertidal life. Tidepoolers are drawn to its wonders every day. As many as 200,000 people visit Haystack Rock every year, mostly during the summer months when the tidepools are teeming and the nesting seabirds, proudly showing off breeding plumage, are busy introducing little ones into the world.”

Even without Haystack Rock, the beach’s fine, golden sand would be enough of a draw for any beach lover. This is one beautiful stretch of sandy shoreline. Cannon Beach delights barefoot beachcombers, energetic dogs, and sand castle architects alike. In fact, Cannon Beach will host its 48th Annual Sand Castle Contest on June 9th, 2012!

Kristie and Liam beachcombing at Cannon Beach, Oregon ~ What will you find?

A beachcomber’s playground, agates, seashells, and driftwood can all be found on Cannon Beach.  The Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce poetically states:  “Wave after wave, tide after tide, storm after storm, an oft playful but occasionally serious ocean continues its endlessly fascinating performance. Countless shells, semiprecious agates and twisted pieces of driftwood go through nature’s rock tumbling process in preparation for discovery.”

Tidepooling, beachcombing, birdwatching and castle building. Mist or shine, Cannon Beach is the beach lovers’ paradise of the Pacific Northwest.

* Remember: the Pacific Northwest Coast offers beautiful views but it can also surprise with dangerous conditions.  You’ll want to check out Oregon’s Coastal Quirks for beach safety tips and information.

Feel free to leave a comment & please share us with your friends. Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook at One Shell of a Find! Thanks ~ and have a great day at the beach!


Posted in Monday Miscellaneous, Pacific Coast Beaches, Tide Pools | Tagged: , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

The Graveyard of the Pacific: The Bones of the Peter Iredale (Hammond, Oregon)

Posted by Jody on October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat? Actually, here’s the perfect Halloween treat for beachcombers!

Lewis and Clark National Park is made up of 12 separate park sites located in about a 40-mile stretch of the Northwest Pacific coast from Long Beach, Washington to Cannon Beach, Oregon. Historic Fort Stevens State Park, which is part of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Park, is located just 10 miles west of the Astoria, Oregon (The “Little San Francisco of the Pacific Northwest”). This area is just a portion of the Washington-Oregon coast known as the “Graveyard of the Pacific” due to the treacherous rugged coastline and unpredictable weather which have together resulted in thousands of shipwrecks over the years.  The sandy beach at Fort Stevens State Park is particularly exciting due to the bones of the British ship, the Peter Iredale, which have been resting on the sands since 1906! How cool is that?

Peter Iredale (Photo by Robert Bradshaw/Wikimedia Commons)

Fort Stevens State Park “includes almost 4,000 acres, featuring year-round camping facilities, miles of ocean and river beach, horseback, hiking and biking trails, fishing and swimming lakes, shipwrecks, and sweeping views of Astoria, Youngs Bay, Southwest Washington and the Columbia River mouth. A replica of a Clatsop Indian long house is located on the grounds of Fort Stevens Historical Site. The park also offers a military interpretive museum, the only enclosed Civil War earthworks site on the West Coast, and, in fall, Civil War battle re-enactments.” ( Who could ask for anything more?

To read a brief but very interesting  history of the final voyage (and demise) of the Peter Iredale and  the transcript issued in London by the Board of Trade on the 24th of December 1906, see the  Finding and order of a Naval Court. It’s a great read! The good news: the entire crew was rescued due to the “prompt action of the United States life-saving crew at Hammond in having the lifeboat alongside in heavy surf.”

Happy Halloween from The Graveyard of the Pacific!

Posted in Monday Miscellaneous, Pacific Coast Beaches, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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