28 May 2015What’s the difference between a rock and a sea stack?
Oregon Islands NWR is made up of all the rocks, islands, and sea stacks that are located off shore from the coast of Oregon. I’ve been a little confused about what the difference is between a rock, an island, and a sea stack. I even asked the interpretive ranger here, but I sure didn’t understand her sort of answer.
After the fog finally lifted this afternoon, Emma and I went on a little road trip to view some of the other rocks, islands, and sea stacks north of us that are a part of the refuge. We headed north on the Highway 101 scenic byway, and drove to Gold Beach, OR, before turning around so that all the overlooks would be on our right on our way back. The Rogue River enters the sea at Gold Beach, and this is the bridge across the river on the north side of town. I had driven down from Bandon on this scenic route two weeks ago, but didn’t stop along the way with the rig and car in tow.
There are numerous turn offs and viewpoints along the way, and each one is pretty spectacular. Many of them are along the Samuel Boardman State Scenic Corridor, and are administered by the Oregon State Park system. Samuel Boardman is considered the “Father of Oregon State Parks”. The winds were really howling, and I was glad I was in my car rather than the rig for this drive.
At this stop, a couple of (crazy) people were getting suited up to go out on surf boards with sails on them. With the high winds and turbulent water, I just can’t imagine wanting to do that. Guess I’m just too old for that kind of excitement.
One of my stops along the way was at the Arch Rock viewpoint. Nice view, but I sure didn’t see any arch. This area had picnic tables and pit toilets. Eventually I saw a small sign pointing down a trail to the arch overlook.
The trail is maybe a quarter of a mile long to a nice bench that overlooks the sea, and Arch Rock is right in front of you. It was here that I learned what a sea stack really is. These huge rocks (islands?) take a real beating from the winds and waves, and some of them erode away in spots to form the arches. Waves continue to take their toll on the rock and widen the arch.
Eventually, the arch collapses, after eons, and what is left are standing sea stacks on the sides. Makes sense to me. Not sure why the ranger couldn’t have just said that. I know I probably could have looked up the definition of a sea stack on Google, but finding out this way with the arch right in front of me, I’ll more easily remember it. I noticed those round black holes on the arch rock. Beneath each hole is a lot of bird whitewash. Some sea birds nest in this arch, but I didn’t see any around.
The last viewpoint we stopped at was House Rock. That’s where we found a monument dedicated to Samuel Boardman. The view to the north was wonderful, even though a bit hazy.
Emma especially liked hopping up on the wall around the monument for a better view. I had another visitor ask me if I tied the leash around Emma’s middle on purpose, and I told him I sure did. With that gentle reminder, she is quite calm on leash.
It’s always a good day when you have beautiful scenery, and learn something to boot!
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy
P.S. This was originally Tuesday night's post that I couldn't get published with Live Writer. What a frustrating afternoon it was for me today, Thursday, trying to get it moved over to the Blogger platform. I really hate going back to this method of posting. :(