The Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport Oregon at Sunset.
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In Oregon we do not call it the beach. It is the Coast, due to the (supposedly) sad fact that we do not have proper beaches like California. To the contrary I believe we have some of the most beautiful beaches around. Long stretches of sand like the one between the Columbia River and Seaside. Graceful arches of rock carved by millions of years of tidal action like those near Tillamook. Or the plethora of features with colorful names early explorers littered our coast with. Names such as Cape Disappointment or Cape Foulweather bring to mind those explorers foul moods as they searched for the fabled Northwest Passage.
On a road with views points, waysides, campgrounds, parks, and tourist attractions galore, Boiler Bay is perhaps one of my favorite stopping points. Located in between Lincoln City and Newport, just a couple of short miles north of Depoe bay, Boiler Bay and Cape Foulweather signal the transition between the North Oregon Coast, and the Central Coast.
Originally called Brigg’s Landing after a local family, Boiler Bay got it’s name from the 1910 wreck of the J. Marhoffer and the remains of it’s steam boiler which can be seen at low tide. It remains a great place to watch the ocean, especially during storms as the waves crash on the rocks below.
The Cape Sticks out far enough into the ocean that in addition to providing a great place for nesting sea birds, migrating whales frequently pass by. This in addition to a native pod of Gray Whales. For close up looks it’s recommended to take a Whale Watching cruise out of Depoe Bay.
The next city south of Depoe Bay is Newport. Protected on the north by the Yaquina Head Lighthouse, and the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse on the south, the Yaquina River provided early transportation options for settlers deeper in the coastal interior. Both lighthouses have been replaced by electric automated lights, but are in the process of being restored. As can be seen from this picture, even at 11am there was still a large amount of fog despite the lack of clouds in the sky.
Newports most striking feature remains the Yaquina Bay Bridge, designed by Conde B. McCullough who designed several other Costal Bridges. This bridge has come to represent the city of Newport, even though it’s only viewable from the immediate area of the bay itself. Over 3200 feet in length, it still retains all of it’s decorative embellishments of McCullough’s trademark design.
While the Oregon Coast can live up to it’s explorers expectations, when the sun comes out, and the sea crashes against the rocks, it becomes one of Oregon’s unique experiences.