Hiking down to the tide pools that hide in secret coves along the central Oregon coast can be treacherous from the top of a cliff.
Blame a massive coastal storm from a few years back for blasting the handrails once grasped by folks working their way down the steep, cliff-side trail at Ocean Haven. Huge logs of driftwood were hurled against the vulnerable, steep pathway by the storm, destroying the rails on the downhill side.
“Tide pools have feelings, too”
Cautious hikers cling to the cliff as they make their way down to the lonely cove below. They’ll be glad of the ropes placed strategically near the bottom to hoist themselves back up for the return trip. The effort is worthwhile in the extreme, since they’ll be visiting a federal seabird protection and state-protected marine wildlife habitat. Thankfully, there are few folks here to disturb the peace and awe of this coastal haven.
Low tide on this stretch of cove reveals tide-pool creatures and crustaceans clinging to the rocks hosting them. Tiny aggregating sea anemones huddle together unnoticed by the unobservant. They’re camouflaged by tiny shell fragments.
Bigger green sea anemones with outstretched tentacles await the arrival of open snails or unwary small fish. The rocks above are absolutely crammed with mussels, barnacles and other inter-tidal critters.“War of the Shells”
Farther out, their white hides flecked with gray and black, young seals sun themselves blissfully on the rocks, oblivious to the oncoming, powerful waves that seem hellbent on blasting them off their precarious perches.
Meanwhile, small flocks of pelicans patrol the waters, flying so low it seems their wingtips skim the waves before they gracefully soar up, then back down, as one, seeking their next meal…
At the Ocean Haven Lodge, we had sweeping, 180-degree views north to south of the ocean and its tiny cove between Yachats and Florence, Oregon. The suite was comfortable but not pretentious, with ample sleeping space for four, plus a full kitchen. The shower, top to bottom, is built of ocean stones cleverly set and beautiful to behold. One could spend their entire visit camped out at the windows and take in the ocean view in all its majesty and power. But the five-minute hike down from the back yard to the shore, awkward as it was for unsteady folks, wasn’t beyond our limits.
Above: “Tide pool community” features a host of creatures, from sea anemones to mussels to cormorants off in the distance. Look closely.
View more images from this journey (and other adventures) on my New Works web page.
Beautiful, custom prints
I continue my tradition of donating 20% of the purchase of any of my images to the Idaho
Foodbank. Here’s how it works:
• You get stunning photography for your home, office or as thoughtful gifts; each purchase also helps feed hungry people. I give 20% of each sale to the Idaho Foodbank.
• I will deliver framed art free within a 50-mile radius of Boise. Email me for details at email@example.com.
• I pay Shipping and Taxes when you buy prints from my galleries at kenlevymedia.com.
Here’s where you can view my framed work, and exquisite metal prints, on exhibit:
- Blue Sky Bagel Restaurant, 5517 W. State St., Boise
New store, new exhibit!
- Blue Sky Bagel Restaurant, 407 W. Main St., Downtown Boise
Phone: (208) 388-4242
- Blue Sky Bagels, BRC Plaza, 12375 Chinden Blvd., Boise
Phone: (208) 323-6553
- Blue Sky Bagels, 3161 E. Fairview, Meridian
Phone: (208) 855-9113