Rugged to Historic Goofy Around Lincoln City, Depoe Bay: Oregon Coast Adventures


Rugged to Historic Goofy Around Lincoln City, Depoe Bay: Oregon Coast Adventures

Posted on 12/13/21 at 6:22 PM PST
By André GW Hagestedt

(Lincoln City, Oregon) – Those long wasted days before COVID, and I’m walking the central Oregon coast on a sort of ‘book promotions’ tour: I had just released my fourth book, an in-depth guide to Depoe Bay. It’s also the cause of a lot of exploration and video making, and a great opportunity to find myself in the middle of some wacky adventure or whatever.

There are a lot of silly and surprising things going on behind the scenes at the Oregon Coast Beach Connection. It’s a mixture of wonder and humor, sometimes inadvertently.

It all starts with a very stressful attempt to make it to Lincoln City the day before my story presentation. The I-5 is an unusual train wreck, with a massive crash that cost me over an hour just to get from the 217 just north of Wilsonville. It’s a serious nightmare, but I manage to turn around, get back to Ptown, and let everyone know I’m late.

Lesson Learned: I-5 is a bit unreliable. Always have a back-up route. On my second try, I go down via Yamhill Wine Country.

Finally, around 8 or 9 p.m., I go down to the central Oregon coast and my favorite little motel: Whistling Winds. The staff are exceptionally cool and let me in a bit late.

My Portland friends are waiting a few doors down: Keely, Becky and her husband Abe. Yes, I actually have Oregon Coast Beach Connection groupies – they’re there to watch me talk the next day. Their bedroom is larger in the historic little engine lodge, one that comes with a lot more stained glass than the smaller ones. He’s a serious charmer.

By this point my trio of buddies had been in the casino for a while and they were, well, a bit toast. Becky and Keely are bartenders down the road from my Portland pad and regularly get to watch me go clumsy. Now I watch them with endless fun as they giggle drunk and throw pieces of convenience store food at each other, stumble and say the strangest things.

As they go to bed, I do a little writing and publishing work in this woody setting of the rather atmospheric walls of the Whistling Wind. It was originally a motorhome from the 1930s, which means it was among the first of its kind as this new form of accommodation replaced the tents and small cabins in front of which you would park your car. Remodeled and refined, it retains a deeply historic vibe, and it’s hard to imagine that it has changed much in those decades, except perhaps that they had polished the wood and replaced the floors.

Still, Whistling Winds has changed its interiors a lot: I stayed there once in the 90s long before the current owners got hold of it and it wasn’t that hot. Now it’s both gleaming and rustic – quite an interior design feat. 866-384-9346 3264 NW Jetty Ave, Lincoln City, Oregon. www.whistlingwindsmotel.com

The next morning, I discovered a new coffee shop (new to me anyway) with a resplendent beverage. Their iced coffees are good for the eyes. Nyla’s Cup of Jo is the name of this gem, a little place that is one of those independent stores that are an exceptionally pleasant surprise. I see they survived the pandemic and I am happy.

Around noon, I take a walk on the beach near Whistling Winds at Grace Hammond Access. There, even though it’s February, it’s one of those rather warm, springy days that February can surprise you with (there’s a whole science behind this semi-regular event in February). The sky is deep blue, the ocean is calm, and the winds are fairly light. In fact, it’s almost hot. It’s one of those days on the Oregon coast that gets your heart racing.

My talk to the library is about the history of the Oregon coast, and it was a success. There are 30 or 40 people, and I have fun making silly jokes that make a lot of laughs. At one point, I have to stop myself from laughing that a gentleman fell asleep during my history lesson. My buddies Becky, Abe and Keely are there, distracting me at times and making me laugh at them in public, and they flip their beards, making me laugh more. We are sometimes like a comedy team of insults. It’s a kick.

I’m betting on sales of copies of my four books (the Ultimate Oregon Coast Travel Series), each of which covers a different city: Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Cannon Beach, and Seaside. Becky manages to sell a copy or two at a local bar while they drink before my gig.

To top off this awesome gravy day, a photo trip to Lincoln City’s SW 33rd St. Access, where the sunset offers exceptional color and texture, and a bright moon puts on a show east of the beach. .

It was here that a young couple approached me and told me they were at my conference, apologizing for “disturbing me” on the beach. Damn, no, you don’t bother me. I am not a rock star. We had a great conversation at the local beaches. My audience is pretty cool.

Later that night, my friends having returned to Portland, I head to the Chinook Winds Casino where an old friend is playing. Beth Willis and Todd Chatalas do their thing as a duet, producing loads of catchy covers and a lot of cuddling on the dance floor. They are now seeing a return to the world of live music as pandemic restrictions ease.

Beth whom I met here in Lincoln City almost two decades ago, where I was impressed by her energetic and powerful voice. I hadn’t seen her for maybe almost ten years. I saw Beth’s eyes widen when she recognized me, still in the middle of a song. Pleasant moments and a great reunion.

After the gig, the three of us did my favorite thing: go to the beach late at night. There was alcohol at this time which made it a lot more fun and interesting. With a tripod and full camera gear in tow, I took some ethereal, ghostly shots of them bouncing around the beach.

The next day, the Oregon coast again lived up to its cloudy reputation, still making photography and video a lot more difficult. This time I’m heading towards Depoe Bay with the sun coming in and out and sometimes creating an eye-catching silver surf. Hanging out mostly at the secret place of North Point, it’s rough and dramatic there. But the bay itself is still and sometimes almost crystal clear.

As I stroll through downtown, I make my way to a gallery that was once part of the Depoe Bay Aquarium building, which I wrote about in my book. I went to look at the oddly shaped window that is still there at the back of the store, speechless at the fact that piles of adornment, glittery things and a lovely rug now inhabit the place where the seals once lived. It’s a trippy little trip back in time. Funny how the smallest things can transport you somewhere else, or even somewhere else.

Lincoln City Hotels – Where to eat – Lincoln City Maps and virtual tours

Depoe Bay Hotels – Where to eat – Maps and virtual tours of Depoe Bay



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