This is what you find on a sunny day at Harris Beach State Park near Brookings, Oregon. I was particularly pleased with the seagull who decided to photo-bomb my picture. Peggy and I had to deal with stormy weather when we visited there last week.
So, I was going to write about Chesley Burnett “Sully” Sullenberger III today, the heroic American Airlines pilot who saved 155 people in 2009 by landing his goose-disabled US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River, but I got distracted. It happens, you know.
Peggy and I took a trip over to the Oregon Coast for Valentine’s Day and ended up at Harris Beach State Park in Brookings. It was a stormy three days filled with 40-60 MPH winds, slashing rain and crashing waves— the perfect weather for romantically snuggling down in our 22-foot RV and eating chocolate as the world roared by outside.
We had our rain hats, rain coats and rain pants, however, so we got out for a couple of walks: once when the sun was threatening to shine and once when the heavens were threatening to open up and dump oodles of rain. And we took our cameras. Peggy wanted to play with her new Canon EOS Rebel T6i with a Tamron 16-300 mm telephoto lens. I took my trusty little Canon Powershot G7x. The conditions weren’t ideal for photography— grey skies matched grey seas matched grey rocks, but we had fun seeing what we could capture.
This sea stack was in the background on the lead picture for this post. Again, I took this photo on a sunny day. Note the large crack/cave on the front. (Sea stacks are rocks in the ocean that have been created by the endless waves eroding the shoreline.)
This is what it looked like last week. A wave is crashing into the cave. (Because of a high tide abetted by the stormy weather, I had to take this photo from a different angle.The sea stack on the left is included in photos below. Brookings is on the distant cliff.)
When we arrived home, I was eager to see the results and process the photos. I did that instead of working on the photos I took of Sully’s plane at the air museum in Charlotte, North Carolina when we visited there in early January. Bad Curt. As a result, today’s post is on Harris Beach. Sorry, Sully. Next Monday is yours. But then I will be in Las Vegas. Hmmm.
Harris Beach State Park sits on the edge of Brookings and is about three scenic hours away from where we live. We followed back roads to Highway 199, otherwise known as the Redwood Highway, to US 101 on the Pacific Coast and then followed it north to Brookings. It is a gorgeous park filled with imposing sea stacks and Oregon’s largest island, which happens to be reserved for the birds. Some 100,000 hang out there during mating season, including tufted puffins who use their webbed feet to dig their nests into the ground.
The island is off-limits for two-legged types like us, however, so we were left with taking photos of rocks, waves, and driftwood.
Our semi-sunny walk took us behind the large sea stack (small island?) and showed us that the large cave we had seen on the front went all of the way through. The waves coming in had developed a small cove. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
The waves created this interesting, fan-like look. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
As we hiked down to the cove, I turned around and photographed the rock cliff we were walking around. Note the couple on the lower right for perspective. I felt that the grey sky set the cliff off more than a blue sky might have.
I caught a photo of ‘my Valentine’ appropriately dressed in red as she made her way down the trail. I had her move to the center of the trail so the Pacific would outline her and provide depth.
This rock overhang provided a bower for the trail. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
I took a close up of the overhang.
Another close up that intrigued me was this water caught in a small crevice that provided something of an abstract photo.
Down on the beach, Peggy caught a shot of a wave coming through the split in the rock. Blue skies may have provided more depth but I felt the grey skies placed the focus on the wave.
I moved back to capture some yellow rocks in the foreground to add color to our grey day.
A sea stack just south of the split rock caught Peggy’s attention and she filled her lens with it.
I placed the sea stack in its surroundings, again using a yellow rock on the beach for a splash of color.
I then rendered it in black and white to honor the black and white of the day.
A conglomerate rock and driftwood caught my attention next.
Peggy focused in on the incredible color and texture of conglomerate rock…
While I went for the driftwood and the rock it had managed to capture.
Our second walk took us down to the main beach area at Harris Beach State Park. The weather was more iffy so Peggy was more careful with her camera, but my small Power Shot G7x is used to being abused.
I used Scotch Broom to add color to a shot looking north up the beach.
Peggy’s telephoto lens provided a better view of just how many sea stacks are found on Harris Beach State Park, and a sense of the grey day.
I used these waves to provide a lead in to the sea stacks.
Talk about a lead in… What about this drift log? The driftwood speaks to the power of storm-tossed seas. Note the colorful roots on the left.
I also found these ‘moose antler’ roots interesting. With a little imagination I found the moose’s eye and nose.
While I am on the subject of wildlife, I dubbed this Turtle Rock.
Another clear day shot taken from the beach area. Bird Island is in the background.
Peggy took this shot of the turbulent Smith River on our way home. She really liked the contrast of the green moss growing on the oak tree with the white rapids. The weather had been so wet we found 74 waterfalls careening off of the mountain and into the river as we drove up Highway 199.
I’ll conclude with this hill-hugging rainbow we found welcoming us back to the Applegate Valley. Peggy shot this photo through raindrops on our windshield. Note: there is a slight double rainbow.
Wednesday: It’s back to the Sierra Trek and a 16 mile day without any water sources. One Trekker is lost and I face a rebellion and a rattlesnake.
Friday: More great mutant vehicles at Burning Man.
Monday: Will it be Sully?
39 thoughts on “Sorry, Sully, I Was Distracted… Oregon’s Gorgeous Harris Beach State Park”
As always, your (and Peggy’s) photography is beautiful.
Thanks, Sylvia. –Curt
Both cameras caught some rather stunning sights.
Peggy and I have fun with our cameras, AC. Often we photograph the same things but from a different perspective. –Curt
Rocks, Logs and Reflections, a perfect trilogy!
Yes they are, Andrew. Thanks. –Curt
Nice to see different takes on the same location.
One of the advantages of having it relatively close by, Peggy. It was fun for me to pull up my older photos and compare. Thanks. –Curt
I feel like fish and chips now. Great shots of water and rocks, Curt.
Fish and chips in a greasy newspaper? That’s how I remember them in England. Thanks, Gerard. –Curt
Oh no. English fish& chips in Murdoch Newsprint! An abomination. It will get worse with the Brexit.
In Australia we now get the chips served in a metal type colander and the fish on white plate with lemon sliced and lovely mayo together with a crispy salad.
Thanks, Gerard. Maybe that is what turned me off on fish and chips. 🙂 Admittedly, it was a while ago.
Well you two had a grand day! Harris beach was a favorite of ours. My family lived in Brookings so we went often. Lucky you.
It’s a treasure Kayti… Lucky family. Brookings is one of out ‘go to’ places. –Curt
In the two photos of the rock overhangs, just beneath the photo of Peggy, do you have any idea what those teal colored “balls” are that are tucked into the rock crevices? I can’t quite tell what they are. Maybe they’re plants. But they look like Christmas ornaments.
The coast is so dramatic. I especially like the rock caught in the driftwood. What a neat photo!
They are plants, Linda, with small, flower-like green/grey leaves. They remind me of epiphytes found in the tropics.
The drama of the north coast with its towering rocks and crashing waves are part of what makes it so attractive to me.
The driftwood was fun. And you left Peggy hanging… 🙂 –Curt
Oh, my ~ ! I know exactly what happened. The rest of the sentence(s) should be, “Peggy’s camera is similar to mine. I have the T6s. She’ll really enjoy it.” When I got as far as “Peggy’s,” I decided to go check, just to be sure of what I have. I got busy on the Canon site, comparing cameras, and never came back!
Thanks for solving the mystery for me Linda. (grin)
Gettin’ all artsy-fartsy, eh? The rock-eating driftwood was a real find. Was there anything interesting below the surface in the fan-waved cove? Sea stars? Octopi? Octocake?
Always, Anna. But it was a bit stormy to wait around for the tide to drop. I suspect interesting creatures (that only come out in the dark of the night) were living in the cave. Check in on Friday for Octopi, though. 🙂 –Curt
Your photographs are stunning! What gorgrous landscapes and nature close ups I got to wake up to. Thanks!
You are ever so welcome, Peta. The Oregon coast really is beautiful. –Curt
Its always a treat to read your posts. Beautiful photography and interesting write-ups. The first picture of the lake with the seagull is indeed a spectacular capture.
Cheers and regards. 🙂
Thanks, Dilip! Much appreciated. –Curt
Visual treat, Curt!
WOW… The 3rd image, the last two images will stay with me forever. So beautiful. I think citizens of large countries are lucky, they have the luck to explore more beautiful & different places than the ones living in the small ones.
Peggy and I are lucky to wander through many beautiful areas, Hemangini, both in the US and other countries. But there is great diversity in the US— and in Oregon. In our state we have the mountains, the coast, arid regions, and rainforests: all within a day’s drive. Thanks for commenting. BTW, we like hobbits, too. 🙂 –Curt
Thanks for this wonderful reply Curt. It has been days since I logged in and reading your comments made me smile.. Keep having fun you both 🙂
Having fun we are, Hemangini. 🙂 –Curt
Some jewels here, in photography as well as beach treasures. Your last photo of the water crashing through the hole in the rock, with the yellow beach rocks in the foreground is wonderful. I found the moose nose and eye too! And I would also have photographed the stone in the driftwood. Looks like it was put there by a human. If you had the means, you could have dragged that into a furniture store and sold it for $2000.
Laughing about selling the stone/driftwood piece, Crystal. I suspect that the park people might have got a little excited, but maybe not. Anyway, it is there for others to enjoy— until the next big storm carries it away. There is never any lack of subjects for photography along the Oregon and Washington coasts, which I am sure that you agree with! –Curt
I absolutely agree.
Lovely photos, your a Valentine being the fairest of them all! 🙂
the photos look so lively!! Never knew this place existed…. into my bucket list straightaway… Thanks for letting us know about this beautiful place…. 🙂
My pleasure! The Oregon Coast contains numerous treasures… definitely worth a visit. –Curt
What a gorgeous place! Love your photos, too, of the waves hitting the split, the rainbow, and the still waters/reflection/photobombingbird one, too!
The photobombing bird… 🙂 It’s a great place for photography, Rusha. Easy to capture good ones. –Curt