Monday, October 8, 2012


Agenda for the day
My recent travels to Oregon ended with a visit to the coast to watch waves toss around rocks. The only planned components of this journey involved visiting tidepools, eating something delicious, and ending my travels in Portland for the evening.

The first leg of the mini-journey involved a drive from Albany to Newport to visit Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. The designation is appropriate -- the tidepool areas are quite outstanding. I arrived right before low tide and was fortunate to see many sea anemones and a couple of big starfish at my first stop.

Sea anemone

This area usually is submerged in water
but at the 10:35 AM low tide was completely open for viewing

I left for the second tidepool area after the peak of low tide, and spent some time watching an orange starfish and multiple mussels and barnacles cling to the rocks during the repeated strong, loud rushes of water with the incoming tide. I'm testing different applications for the GoPro, and the photos below were captured with the multi-photo mode. I also have some video of this area from the point of view shown in the photos (below); above this location; and behind the inlet. These will be edited/released in the near future (keep an eye on the TeamHaleakala You Tube page).

Tide incoming...

...some more water...

...and roar!
Hungry after climbing on rocks all morning, I drove north on the Oregon Coast Highway to Depoe Bay. The Spouting Horn restaurant caught my eye, and the meal met every expectation for something delicious and tasty. Fresh bread roll, clam chowder, and cole slaw to start, followed by a shrimp salad on toasted bread. Yum.

It turns out that Depoe Bay is one of the major locations for whale watching due to the abundance of mysid shrimp right offshore, that attract gray whales during their migration north and south along the coast. Other types of whales have been spotted, and I think the killer whales (Orca) hang out in the area to hunt the gray whale calves. I didn't watch the horizon long enough to see any live whale tails, but did stop by the Depoe Bay Whale Center and saw a killer whale skull. The teeth are quite large.

Moving farther north along 101, I wanted some sandy beach time and stopped at Gleneden Beach State Wayside Park. It was pretty amazing to see the contrast in beach type between Yaquina Head (basalt worn over by the ocean) and Gleneden Beach (sandstone being weathered into the beach)...a significant effect of geology on beach type, even within an 11 mile drive.
Yaquina Head -- Igneous

Yaquina Head -- Rocky Beach

Glenwood Beach -- Sedimentary

Glenwood Beach -- Sandy with pebbles

One thing to mention about the Oregon coast -- tsunami warning signs were everywhere, and I even saw a notice about a tsunami drill for Newport. More on the tsunamis, and the geology that factors in to their creation, in a future post...

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