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Oregon Coast: A Destination For Everyone

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The Oregon Coast: A Destination for Everyone

When a person is deciding where to spend their vacation they are hoping to go someplace that is relaxing, interesting, and affordable. The Oregon coast is a destination that will fulfill those requirements, as well as provide memories that will last a lifetime.

I have been going to the Oregon coast since I was a boy, and the memories of my experiences and adventures still remain alive and flash back with each subsequent visit.

My memories now include those of watching my sons grow up at the coast and its wonderful beaches. The Oregon coast is always alive with many other families adding their own personal memories to be recalled later.

The Oregon coast is intriguing in any weather; it is not dependent on a sunny day. When there is a storm approaching or a windy day you can observe the larger waves that are generated by such situations. The waves can bring in many interesting items that are deposited on the shoreline. Beachcombing is a hobby for some individuals and a job for others. Those willing to get up at the crack of dawn have been know to find boxes of Nike tennis shoes, various sports equipment, and other items washed overboard from container ships. The very lucky ones can even possibly find a Japanese glass float in the sand after a receding wave. The objects recovered are sold by those whose income depend upon it, or displayed proudly by those that covet them.

There are many interesting towns to visit on the Oregon coast. Seaside, Cannon Beach, Lincoln City, and Newport are some of the more popular places to see as you travel on Highway 101 along the coast. Each town has its own personal style and highlights, and provides plenty of places to stay and eat if the need arises.

A person does not have to stay in a motel when they choose to visit the coast. There are 16 State Parks along the Oregon coast and most provide excellent spots for camping and picnicking. Fort Stevens is located 10 miles west of Astoria and has over 170 camping sites, 13 miles of bike trails, and is the site of the Peter Iredale shipwreck. The shipwreck is still visible after 100 years, but the salt air is slowly weathering the steel skeleton into a mere memory.

Devil's Punch Bowl State Natural Area provides a visual treat to those who stop and visit. During winter storms, water from the ocean slams with a thundering roar into a hollow rock formation shaped like a huge punch bowl. The surf churns, foams, and swirls as it mixes a violent brew. The punch bowl was probably created by the collapse of the roof over two sea caves, and then shaped by wave action.

Whale Watching is a favorite past-time on the Oregon Coast. Gray whales can be seen on the southbound migration from November to December or on the northbound from February to April. From the Bering Sea, a 6,000 mile journey to the warm waters of the Baja's where mating and calving occurs. A return 6,000 mile trip begins at a slower pace and closer to shore due to the new offspring. The whales are visible due to their "spouting", the spray of water and air that is expelled as the whale breaks the surface and breathes.

Depoe Bay, Newport, Seal Rock, Winchester Bay, Charleston, and Cape Arago are some of the more popular Whale Watching locations. It is recommended that you wear warm, waterproof clothing, and use binoculars or a good camera. It is also possible to participate in formal tours on the ocean at many of these locations. The cost will range between $7 to $20, and trip duration of 1 to 3 hours.

The Oregon coast is a fun and worthwhile destination for people at any age. There are tide pools along the entire coastline, with many that provide a fascinating glimpse at the aquatic wildlife. The systems created where the land meets the sea are some of the most beautiful and diverse on our planet. The tide pools are created where rocky shores are covered and uncovered daily by the ocean. Organisms that have made this area their home must be well adapted to adjust to the drastic changes in environment that come with the changing of tides each day. Old and young alike can peer into the pools and observe such a remarkable habitat.

With each visit to the Oregon coast a person can decide what aspects they would like to repeat and those that can be left to memory. Many family traditions have been started and sustained at the beach, with the "young"



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