continuing search for the arch

We tried again. This time from the south of Mack Arch. This was the first spot we could find where you can pull off the highway to look. The problem here is the east to west orientation of the arch. You can’t see the arch from this angle. Here it looks more like a maimed isosceles triangle.


So we attempted another pullout just a bit farther to the south.Mack_Arch-0016Flying out past some of the headlands and trees, you can look back at Crook Point tossing its jumble of rocks to the arch in the bottom left corner. Here you see why the Point and its scattered rocks essentially block access to the beach. South of the Point (even if you could get around it) is a beach where the only access is across private property.

Mack_Arch-0020aThis is, I believe, one of the more rugged and least accessible stretches of the southern coast. With no access to the private property (unless you rent a beach bungalow),  this pullout just off Highway 101 (marked parking area) is the closest spot were the arch can be seen at the proper angle. mack_arch-0027-2Looking straight down at the “aerial shot” location

mack_arch-0027This doesn’t begin to convey how steep and rugged this stretch of the coast is. Somehow shooting straight down seems to flatten even the most rugged peaks and points.

mack_arch-0043The trees and cliffs lit by the setting sun.


We know so very little about this strange planet we live on, this haunted world where all answers lead only to more mystery. 
― Edward Abbey


the trail to the beach

We took a day off and then I was ready to make an attempt at the nearly two and a half mile hike out to the beach and back. (Still in search of Mack Arch)

CrookPt-5103We followed part of the trail as in the previous post, but this time we followed the slightly more daunting up and down trail toward the beach.

CrookPt-5118Sand dunes and interesting rock formations were found along this stretch.

CrookPt-5120With yet another look at Cape Sebastian, this time looking north. This amazing rock formation still fascinates me. All the shapes and shades of color.

CrookPt-5131Impressive sand dunes with beach grasses to help anchor the dunes in place and offer habitat for the beach bunnies. Note the rabbit tracks at the center of the image.

CrookPt-5126Climbing over one sand dune we finally got a glimpse of the beach. Mack Arch is to the south of this jagged, jumbled, rock strewn point. Though it’s possible to get down to the beach, Crook Point is the obstacle that sticks out into the ocean. One can only get around it by boat or by air.

CrookPt-0027-2This looks deceptively as though one might just hike inland, but there is a very deep and steep ravine, covered in thick brush beyond where I’m standing. As if that weren’t enough, the tip of Crook Point is the Mack Reef Unit of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. An area fenced and forbidden to any trespassers.

CrookPt-0003This shot from the drone hints at the obstacles… all those trees, all the rocks and monoliths.

CrookPt-0007while this shot (from a higher altitude) shows Crook Point sticking out into the ocean (bottom right corner.)


Crook_Pt-0027Looking south towards Brookings is a large area of private property with no public access.

Crook_Pt-0013Once again, looking north toward Cape Sebastian, with Pistol River State Park and its sand dunes in the foreground.

Crook_Pt-0031Another similar shot with the sand dunes and surrounding hills turned to orange by the setting sun.

camper_art-5225Just for fun, here’s a closeup of my favorite bit of art for the camper. If you’re not familiar with different sort of ducks, you might think we’ve revealed our name. We’ve certainly gotten a few odd looks from folks perhaps thinking we might be Mr and Mrs Bufflehead. 😀 I do like to keep ’em guessing.

When religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe nothing can stand in their way. Their movements become headlong – faster and faster and faster. They put aside all thoughts of obstacles and forget the precipice does not show itself to the man in a blind rush until it’s too late.
― Frank HerbertDune



in search of Mack Arch

My conclusion is that you can’t get there from here… 😀Crook_Point-5195

We finally found the trail that heads off toward Crook Point. It’s a segment of the Oregon Coast Trail. Not easily located.

OCT-5092This first hike was a bit of scouting and random bits of botany. This early in the season after the storm and rain, I was a bit out of shape to take it to the limit.

Lots of interesting plant life to observe along the way. I’m only beginning to pay attention to interesting specimens of lichen I have yet to identify.

Crook_Point-5193This looked like an interesting bypass, opting not to take the longer and more challenging hike out to the beach this time around. We found the lake, but it was way down in a deep ravine, hemmed in by lots of brush. Interesting that someone left a bear bell on the sign post for those inclined to need one. I just tend to babble and make noise so as not to startle some unsuspecting critter. It might even be a thrill to get to see one.

OCT-0020Eric launched the drone and captured this tantalizing glimpse of Mach Arch from waaay up high (over the meadow and through the woods).

OCT-5096The sun was setting and we were hungry, so it was back to the pickup to tackle the longer trail another day when we had an earlier start. The camper is being personalized by some of Eric’s art work. This gives you just a wee glimpse. Perhaps it shows how much he likes out feathered friends.

Limits of survival are set by climate, those long drifts of change which a generation may fail to notice. And it is the extremes of climate which set the pattern. Lonely, finite humans may observe climatic provinces, fluctuations of annual weather and, occasionally may observe such things as “This is a colder year than I’ve ever known.” Such things are sensible. But humans are seldom alerted to the shifting average through a great span of years. And it is precisely in this alerting that humans learn how to survive on any planet. They must learn climate. 
― Frank HerbertChildren of Dune

Sisters Rocks – more views

Leaving Gold Beach, I looked south to see the tip of Cape Sebastian kissed by the fog…

SistersRocks-5014The day was delightful and we headed north to Sisters Rocks State Park.

SistersRocks-5032We were delighted to see the mist still clinging to the monoliths along the beach. Above you can see Cape Sebastian off in the distance.

SistersRocks-5040The mist surrounding Sisters Rocks.

SistersRocks-5039Offshore rocks seeming to float in the mist, looking like some sea monster.


SistersRocks-0003Ozzie (the drone) caught this misty look at Sisters when we arrived.

SistersRocks-0023We’re discovering that the mist can change from one moment to the next. The above image was taken a mere twenty minutes after the previous one. The mist gone…

SistersRocks-0030Looking straight down at one of the pointy rocks.


It is not the length of life, but the depth.
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

a rather botched moon

I hadn’t planned to post my rather miserable attempt at capturing the eclipse, but then there was a request from Mr Tootlepedal

Knowing our fickle weather, I didn’t expect to be able to see the eclipse given our typically thick fog that rolls in at night. However…

eclipse-4974It turned out I was still awake when the eclipse began. I looked out the window and the sky was perfectly clear. Amazing! The above image was shot through the window without a tripod. Thus the reflection and/or blur. Suddenly it didn’t seem like such a foolish idea to capture (so to speak) this unique event.

eclipse-4984I rousted Eric out of bed and we drove up to Cape Sebastian. The sky was filled with stars even though the above image doesn’t show them very clearly.

I have to admit that I fumbled with the camera and tripod and the weather was close enough to freezing to add to the difficulties. This was one of the first shots as the red started to show up just a bit. Such a pity I hadn’t been a bit more prepared or spent some time practicing night photography.

eclipse-5011This final shot was at totality. Seeing the moon turn red was pretty eerie. I can’t begin to imagine what folks might have thought in days before us humans figured out what caused it.

With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy? 
― Oscar Wilde

more fun at the beach

Just to add to the previous post. From a more recent visit to the new beach location, I have yet to put together a varied collection as before, but this might be a good start.

Meyers-0021Looking down from above…

dogs-4913Then I spotted this strange sight… a dog team training for the Iditarod?

dogs-4895This was the moment those two lovely pups spotted my little one (who simply HAD to bark at them!) Not sure about the poodle mix dog watching from behind. Just an innocent bystander?

dogs-4894Things did not go well at that point. I think the dogs could use a bit more training.

Take someone who doesn’t keep score,
who’s not looking to be richer, or afraid of losing,
who has not the slightest interest even
in his own personality: he’s free. 
― Jalaluddin Mevlana Rumi – مولوی

things to do at the beach

Frankly it’s been fun snapping pictures of people enjoying themselves at the beach. This may turn into a long post since it’s been really difficult to narrow down the selections…

First off, many folks seem to enjoy walking on the beach…Bandon-7785

while others stroll along the paths above the beach…Bandon-0761

with or without dogs… (I had a bit of fun processing this one!)bandon-0694

Some folks even say “I do” barefoot in the sand…


Love the bare feet and the woman on the ground apparently taking a picture of something.


It seems as though a favorite activity is taking pictures (I should know!) bandon-2

(click on any image below for the slideshow with captions)

Some folks like to ride horses on the beach…

or watch the seals watch you…seal-6284

or birds…

This series was a bit unusual. I’ve never seen Canada Geese playing in the surf like this. I had to include the entire sequence.

Tide pools at a minus tide can be interesting, though the sea stars are hard to find these days because they’ve succumbed to a wasting disease.

Watching the fishing boats or waves… I could fill an entire post with waves, but I restrained myself.

Speaking of waves, the candidates for the Darwin Awards are always fun to watch. I haven’t had the thrill of watching a rescue unless it was just for practice. These folks obviously haven’t read the reports in the newspapers (or online) about the folks who were washed off cliffs or jetties and had to be rescued, or drowned.

Can’t overlook visiting the lighthouse (they have tours during the summer), playing your guitar up on the cliffs, flying kites, or simply scrambling on the rocks.

I was a bit obsessed for awhile trying to catch the sun setting through the arch, but eventually I succeeded…

But it seems everyone’s favorite activity is watching the sunset…Bandon-0735

So… to all a good night! I can’t count how many sunsets I’ve shot. This one will have to do.sunsets-7675

My world, my Earth is a ruin. A planet spoiled by the human species. We multiplied and fought and gobbled until there was nothing left, and then we died. We controlled neither appetite nor violence; we did not adapt. We destroyed ourselves. But we destroyed the world first. 
― Ursula K. Le GuinThe Dispossessed



Bandon, a look back

Or… the beach I left behind. I try to think of a single Oregon beach to call my absolute Favorite, but that’s pretty impossible. However, Bandon definitely makes it into the top three. I happened to stumble into Curt’s (Wandering Through Time and Place) post about Bandon beach. It inspired me to look back at some of my shots. Here’s a few I pulled out of archives from 2013. It was a year with wildfires near by which created some spectacular sunsets. Come to think of it, wildfires seem to have become the norm lately.

Bandon-0689Looking at Elephant Rock (west) from Coquille Point -it’s hard to see the ‘elephant’ from this angle, but the head and neck form the arch with the body trailing off to the right.

Bandon-0693High tide from Coquille Point.

Bandon-1135A wildfire sunset. You can see the Cape Blanco lighthouse flash at the horizon just a bit to the right of center.

Bandon-0763Apparently I’m a bit fixated on the sky and clouds…

Bandon-0036So, getting down to the beach… a bit north of Elephant Rock there’s this marvelous notch formed by a collection of rocks/sea cliffs where the waves strut their stuff.

Bandon-0179Heading to the south from Coquille Point there’s these pointy rocks. Note the people (barely visible) at the far left edge for a bit of perspective.

Bandon-6686A misty look at Face Rock -Princess Ewana is lying down looking up at the sky to the right. It’s part of an Indian legend explained in Curt’s post (link in my 1st paragraph).

Bandon-0281Komax, her dog howling at the sky as his Princess is dragged out to sea by a wicked spirit.

Bandon-2292Another shot with the prerequisite human figures nearby. I think from this angle he looks more like a seal (if you overlook the pointy nose). But the gulls seem to like the nose for a perch regardless.

Bandon-9605Then there’s Table Rock as seen from near the south jetty

Bandon-6513Again at sunset.





Bandon-9219A favorite spot for dramatic shots between Elephant Rock and Coquille Point.

Bandon-2945A touch of sun and a splash of surf near the arch in Elephant Rock.

Bandon-9148Beach, sea, rocks, clouds and sky. What more could you ask for?

Bandon-1474Looking north toward Coquille Point at low tide.

Just in case you haven’t had enough… there’s a tab at the top of the page marked Bandon. It’s where I tucked away quite a few images from the archives quite some time ago.
Next up: What to do at the beach in Bandon.

Why should we tolerate a diet of weak poisons, a home in insipid surroundings, a circle of acquaintances who are not quite our enemies, the noise of motors with just enough relief to prevent insanity? Who would want to live in a world which is just not quite fatal? 
― Rachel CarsonSilent Spring

cloud shifting

January 18th, some mighty impressive clouds hovering over the sea. The surf was rather agitated, too, though it may not show in the images.Curry-4781Looking north to Sisters Rocks.

Curry-4825Getting in under that gray layer picked up more color for the scene.

Curry-4773Here I concentrated on the frothy surf. The leading edge almost looks like lace.

Curry-4775All the different layers sand, froth, water and clouds -both fluffy and brooding, with a bit of blue sky sandwiched between.

Curry-4780Approaching sunset, we picked up a bit more color. I suspect these clouds might have brought us the onslaught of pelting hail that evening after dark.

Curry-4835January 19th, stopping at Sisters on our way north, the clouds looked brighter.

Curry-4837The sun also added that lovely greenish color tint to the water that I like so much.

Real strength never impairs beauty or harmony, but it often bestows it, and in everything imposingly beautiful, strength has much to do with the magic. 
― Herman Melville


bird’s eye view

Same Euchre Creek spot as in the previous post, but this time it was taken by the drone (Ozzie)!

mist-0003Looking down, there’s Euchre Creek flowing out to sea (lower right hand corner). The tail end of the lagoon is also visible before it takes the sharp turn.

mist-0012That’s me, followed by Sissy, as seen by the drone. We were the only ones on the beach… though I’m not so sure if we made all the footprints. Could be possible since we were chasing each other around. O_o


mist-0013Looking straight down at the surf.

mist-0032If you squint, I think you can see the other sundog to the left of the nearly setting sun.

mist-0007Looking south. Those three spots of light are auto headlights as they drive by the lagoon.

Freedom begins between the ears. 
― Edward Abbey


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