Oregon Coast Tide Pools

One of our main reasons for taking this trip was that we knew we’d learn all kinds of interesting things we may never have otherwise. Of course, you can learn just about anything you want from books and the Internet, from the comfort of your own home. But traveling affords you the opportunity to apply that knowledge to real-life situations.

Case in point: The tides.

Having spent a month on the beach in southern CA and now two weeks on the Oregon Coast, we’ve gotten a whole new appreciation for how tides work. Before this trip, I knew exactly two things about ocean tides: 1) There are low and high tides. 2) They are somehow influenced by the moon. That was it. Now I know a whole lot more. (It only takes one time of nearly stranding yourselves, your car, and your young offspring on a jagged beach to learn the importance of reading the tide tables.)

I won’t bore you with all my new knowledge of minus tides and spring tides and neap tides and lunar and solar tides and how the whole process works. It wouldn’t mean much to me if we weren’t here regularly interacting with the ocean. That’s what I mean about applying knowledge to real-life situations. It’s very possible that I actually “learned” all this information before. It just didn’t really mean anything to me, since I had no practical application for it. Therefore it didn’t really stick. Now that I have a practical application for it, and personal experience to solidify it, I can say I’ve really learned it. Pretty nifty.

And as an added bonus, I have a whole slew of metaphors related to tides, rhythms, highs and lows in our lives, and other such poetic brainstorms careening through my head. That happens a lot when you’re a writer. I may actually put some of them on paper before our trip is out. We have many more beaches in our future. I’m sure the opportunity will present itself.

At any rate, tides are cool. And so are tide pools at low tide. We checked some out near Cape Kiwanda. Starfish! Real ones right there in nature, not in an aquarium!

The orange ones almost look fake out there on the rocks, don’t they? So bright and colorful.

The rocks in this area are really cool. We came at high tide once and they were all covered up. You’d never know they were there at all if you only came during high tide. (My God, the metaphors are just screaming around in my head! Make it stop!)

We actually ended up at this tide pool area at low-ish tide. It was coming back in as we walked around, so we didn’t get as much time as I would have liked. There’s going to be a minus tide (when the tide goes below sea level) next week, so we’re going to go back then and see if we can get closer to the starfish on the big rocks. Unless it’s raining, which it’s supposed to be. But since when can weathermen predict the weather? 
This beach also happens to have an enormous sand dune next to it. The kids loved running up and down it. I tried it, and about had a heart attack climbing up. You know when your heart is working so hard that you get a pain under your tongue and salivate uncontrollably? That happened to me, just from climbing up it once. You could do a major workout just walking up a big sand dune and running back down a few times. The run back down is super fun, though. Again, I felt like a little kid. 
That’s me and The Muse up there by the moon. The dune actually goes up a lot farther behind where we are, you just can’t tell from Havarti’s angle where he was taking the photo. It’s big. And steep. Running down was almost a little scary, except that the sand is super soft (and obviously VERY deep), so even if you fell, it wouldn’t hurt. 
More and more beach fun. What are we going to do if we end up living somewhere far from the ocean again? I might forget how the tides work. And that would just be a tragedy. 

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Annie writes about life, motherhood, world issues, beautiful places, and anything else that tickles her brain. On good days, she enjoys juggling life with her husband and homeschooling her children. On bad days, she binges on chocolate chips and dreams of traveling the world alone.

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