Take Flight in Pacific City

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Come to the Birding and Blues Festival in Pacific City! From April 13-15, you and your family can enjoy great music, fantastic scenery and the special beauty of our feathered friends.

Pacific City is the home of one of Oregon’s Haystack Rocks. Rising from the ocean, this monolithic scene-stealer makes the perfect backdrop for your family for Spring Break. Add great blues music and an understanding of the many birds that call this area home and you have one of
your most memorable vacations ever.

Tour the Clay Myers State Natural Area, check out the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge, paddle the Little Nestucca in a kayak, join the forest discovery walk, tour the Three Capes Scenic Loop and check out the wetlands restoration projects in the area. Bring your camera for the white
cheeked goose trip, the Camp WiNeMa tour, the Cape Kiwanda Marine Garden tour and, of course, the photography hike.

The Oregon Coast is an incredibly diverse and beautiful environment, home to a variety of
creatures, trees and plants that don’t thrive anywhere else. Artists, photographers, outdoorsmen, nature lovers and explorers of all kinds come to visit and wind up staying in this land of wild beauty.

Join fellow birders watching The Big Year, starring Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson in this bird-spotting comedy. Dance to The Purple Cats, The Sandy Saunders Band and The Strange Tones. Enjoy the raffles, indoor workshops and seminars and, of course, the guided tours led by
knowledgeable experts in birding, forestry and photography.

Visit http://birdingandblues.com/ for more information on this incredible event! Book your home away from now and join fellow bird and blues buffs in Pacific City.
(Photo credit: Richard Wilson)

Spring Cleaning

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring Break is in full swing on the Oregon Coast! And one of the Coast’s favorite Spring Break activities needs you….the Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup! Join SOLV (Stop Oregon Litter and Vandalism) to add purpose to your Spring Break.

SOLV was founded in 1969 by then Oregon governor, Tom McCall. McCall embodied the Oregon
ethos and part of that ethos is the preservation and protection of this rich and beautiful state. His enviable legacy includes free public access to the entire coastline which is now a state park to be enjoyed by all Oregonians and our guests.

Part of enjoying the beach is keeping it clean. Each year, SOLV leads two major beach clean ups. From Astoria to Brookings, thousands of people comb the beaches for tires, plastic bags,
cigarette butts, beer cans, fishing equipment and more. This year, as debris from Japan’s
devastating tsunami washes onto Oregon’s beaches, more help is needed than ever before.

Not only will you help keep the beach beautiful, but you will be preserving habitat for marine creatures and helping to protect them. Plastic grocery sacks, fishing line and other debris not only interfere with habitat but can also kill the creatures that call our beaches home.

So, as you plan your Spring Break getaway, set aside a few hours to help us keep it safe and beautiful. Log onto http://www.solv.org/ to find out more and to register. Enjoy Oregon’s beautiful beaches and help us keep it that way.
(Photo credit: Richard Wilson. Haystack Rock at Pacific City)

Only in Oregon

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A long time ago, there was a beer commercial that I still
remember. I think it was for Blitz Weinhard or maybe it was Henry Weinhard’s.
It was for one of the Weinhard beers, anyway, which are brewed in Oregon.

The commercial showed an old-style Volkswagen Bug driving onto a rainy, windy beach. Four people piled out of the car, all of them bundled up in puffy down coats, scarves, stocking caps, mittens or gloves, heavy boots and jeans. They started tossing around a beach ball and began laughing and shouting in delight. Apparently, some of them were girls from the sound of giggling but you couldn’t tell due to the many layers of winter clothing. They all ran down to the waves and waded in. At the end of the commercial, as you watch the bundled people splashing and playing in the water, a narrator with a deep, earthy voice says,” “Only in Oregon.”

Coastal Oregonians are tough. We don’t carry umbrellas. We wear many layers of clothes in order to strip off or add on depending on the weather, which can change in 10 minutes. We drive to work in hurricane force winds, carry chain saws in our vehicles to clear the road when trees go down and power outages are a way of life. During our snow/hail/rain/wind storms with 70 mph winds last week, my husband and I lost power for a whole day. No problem. Chinook Winds Casino always has power and hot food. And we have natural gas powered heat and hot water, so we didn’t do without any basics.

It saddens me when we have visitors who don’t appreciate the wild variety of weather at the beach. That’s part of the adventure! I was at the grocery store the day after our power came back on and stood in line behind someone who was complaining about how they lost power for a few hours and it “totally ruined” their vacation. I didn’t say anything but thought that atleast they got to experience the wild weather at the beach instead of being at their desk in their climate controlled office unable to do any work because their computer was down. At least here, they have a fantastic display of wild water as storms whip the ocean into a frenzy. Storm watching is awesome!

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your beach adventure in case the power goes out:
1) Always bring flashlights with fresh batteries.
2) Have bottled water with you.
3) Bring a board game, a deck of cards or some form of entertainment that doesn’t require technology.
4) Consider it an adventure instead of an inconvenience. With this attitude, you will find new (and old) ways to entertain yourself, you will discover new places and people and you will have a real adventure instead of something properly planned and predictable.
5) Make sure that you have half a tank of gas in your car when you get here. Gas pumps don’t work if the power is out.
6) In Lincoln City, we have generators at strategic locations throughout town. The City Hall/Library/Price and Pride grocery store will function just fine, as will our Community Center and Chinook Winds Casino. The Community Center has a rock climbing wall, swimming pool and waterslide and a full gym and work out areas. The casino has a great buffet, gaming, concerts, bingo and much more. Our library is an excellent facility and Price and Pride has hot deli food. Light, warmth, hot food and entertainment...the basics.
March in Oregon brings unpredictable weather, here at the Coast and inland. It’s much more fun and exciting here! Make the most of our wild weather and prepare for an adventure instead of an inconvenience. It’s your vacation…only in Oregon.

(Photo credit, Joy Wilson. High winds vs. the Snowman)

Beach clean up for Japan

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A year ago this month, the world watched in horror as a tsunami tore apart Japan’s coast, washing away everything and everyone in its path. No matter where you happen to live, there is a type of disaster specific to your region: tornados, forest fires, earthquakes, wild fires, hurricanes and, along many coastal areas of the world, tsunamis.

Those of us who live here have a deep empathy for our friends in Japan. We invite you to join us up and down our Coast to clear away the debris of the Japanese tsunami as it begins to wash up onto our shores. Many coastal cities and towns are organizing to make sure that any personal items that are found on the beaches are returned to their owners half a world away.

The City of Lincoln City is working to organize just such a program. The Lincoln City Visitor and Convention Bureau is currently developing a way to not only return these items to their original owners but to reward those who help to clear our beaches. You can learn more by emailing events@lincolncity.org or calling 800-452-2151. We invite you to not only join us for a year-long beach clean up, but to help someone half a world away to know a sense of closure. The Japanese Consulate in Seattle is also fielding query calls at 206-682-9107.

As you plan your vacation for Spring Break or for this summer, please plan to give your vacation a sense of purpose. Clearing the debris from the Japanese tsunami is a great way for you to demonstrate your care for our environment and for our friends in Japan.

(Photo credit: Chris McGrath/Getty Images)