The Beautiful and Rugged Northwest Coast… Brookings, Oregon

Beautiful weather and early morning sunlight combined for this reflection photo of a rock jutting out toward the Pacific Ocean at Harris Beach State Park just north of Brookings, Oregon where I was camping this week.

Nobuo Fujita had a job to do: bomb the United States. It was September 9, 1942 and his plane was loaded with incendiary bombs. He launched his floatplane from the Japanese submarine that had delivered him to the coastal waters off Southern Oregon, climbed over the ocean, and flew toward the mountains behind Brookings. His bombs were supposed to ignite a massive forest fire.

The forest didn’t cooperate but Fujita returned to Brookings in 1962 and presented the city with a 400-year-old Samurai sword that belonged to his family. In 1967 Brookings made him an honorary citizen.

On March 11, 2011 another intruder from the East came roaring into Brookings. This time it was the remnants of the devastating tsunami that had struck Japan and caused such horrendous loss of life and property. Brookings got off easy but considerable damage was done to the town’s harbor. It was a solemn reminder of what might happen when the next big earthquake hits the West Coast.

It’s hard to imagine this peaceful harbor scene at Brookings, Oregon being disrupted by the remains of the tsunami that struck Japan a year and a half ago.

I was in Brookings this week to camp out at Harris Beach State Park and enjoy the beautiful and rugged coastline. I divided my days between working on a book about my African Peace Corps experience and hiking on the beach. The weather was close to perfect. Naturally, I had a camera along.

The view from Harris Beach State Park looking south toward Brookings, which was about a mile away.

A sandbar created a small lagoon that was excellent for capturing reflections. Note the seagull on the right.

OK, I admit I can’t resist reflections. This shot at Harris Beach State Park, Oregon was taken late afternoon.

This view, similar to the photo at the beginning, was taken early morning.

Another early morning photo at Harris Beach State Park. This one is looking south. The sun has gently touched the rock on the right while those on the left remain in shadows.

The sandbar that separated the lagoon from the ocean.

I liked the combination of dark rock, sandy beach, sky and water.

Looking north up the Pacific Coast from Harris State Beach.

Low tide uncovers an abundance of sea life. When my dad lived on the Oregon Coast, he would gather the mussels for cooking.

And what’s an ocean without a seagull… This guy was hoping I would break out lunch.

The restless ocean and its waves were calm for my visit to Brookings, Oregon.

This large log, bleached white by the sun and sea, is a reminder of stormy oceans. In fact watching storms hit the coast has become a major spectator sport during the winter on the Oregon coast.

I’ll finish off my post on Harris Beach State Park and Brookings, Oregon with a final reflection picture. Next up: A visit to Organ Pipe Cactus National Park in Southern Arizona.