Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Northwest USA Travel...the OREGON COAST belongs everyone!

My husband and I just returned from a 5 day vacation at the beach here in Oregon.  Even though I raised my family in the era of Tom McCall, I still marvel at all he was able to accomplish for our state.  Access to our beaches is so complete we have come to take it for granted.  In the 26 miles between Lincoln City and Newport there are 9 state parks with parking and beach access.  The Central Oregon Coast from Lincoln City to Florence has a total of 37 state parks available for the public use.  It is amazing...or at least I think so.

My family playing on the beach!
The state of Oregon had a wonderful governor named Tom McCall during the 1960's.  He was a forward looking and determined son of rural farmers and was raised in a small remote community called Burns Oregon.  Among his many legacies the best remembered were his push to get a 55 mph speed limit during a gas crisis, a bottle bill (1971) that taught the rest of the nation about recycling and the expanded rights given the public to use our beaches.  Anyone that chooses to visit the Oregon Coast has the right to walk on it's beaches.  Tom McCall saw to that!

That beach belongs to the public.  Access is only a few miles away!
In June, 1967, after months of stalling, the Oregon Legislature passed House bill 1601, which guarantees public access to the state's beaches and establishes a state easement on all beaches between the low water mark and the vegetation line. The bill expanded upon an almost-60-year-old law that decreed public ownership of beaches between low- and high-water lines, but still allowed for privatization of the "dry sands" area between the high water line and the vegetation line. In 1966, a coastal motel owner barricaded the beach above the high water line, and the need for further protection was discovered. McCall's bold response set the tone for the rest of his administration. 

When we left Lincoln City yesterday we took Hwy 101 north toward Tillamook, home of that famous cheese you see in the grocery.  As you travel north on this road you will notice a turnoff labeled simply Three Capes Scenic Loop.  If you turn west and choose the side trip you will not be disappointed.  The drive is not a long one and there are many 'escape routes' heading back toward the main road.  When I was trying to compare this drive with one we made in California along the Big Sur, I could only think that California should be so lucky.  Lofty views punctuated with easy access to one after another gorgeous beach...some even allow your car on the beach.  Motels are plentiful but they do not control the beach. 

View from Pelican Pub and Brew...Haystack Rock
We stopped in Pacific City for lunch at a little brew pub called Pelican Pub and Brew.  The pizza was mediocre and the beer was $6 for a pint but the view was second to none.  On up the road at Oceanside we found several very promising looking restaurants and I wished we had waited to eat.  That is one of the things that will happen when you travel down a new road.  We did the hard part for you!

Come on over and see us sometime!


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1 comment:

  1. Oh, Barbara, yours and Earls trip just sounds delightful. And, Amanda told me how you and Earl told the story of how you met. You'll have to tell me that sometime. There were many beaches that were explored by Jake and I when I lived there. Perhaps if I had found a little cabin or house on the beach, I'd still be there. Somehow it seems those cloudy, rainy days wouldn't seem so bad if you could look at the ocean. Your memories are wonderful. They bring back my memories. Thanks,


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