On a recent trip back to Rockaway Beach, I happily remembered family vacations spent there in my youth. My dad would plan our departure date, dependent on when the lowest tides promised prime clam digging at the beds in nearby Garibaldi.
Rounding the bend on Hwy 101, my two older brothers were usually the first to shout, “There’s the ‘G!’ on the hillside overlooking the bay. Our dog, Spot, kept her snout near the top of the car window, to sniff the ocean air. We quickly unloaded our buckets, rakes and shovels from our utility wagon and focused on reaching our limit of clams before the tide rolled in.
Next stop: The Lighthouse Motel. We rented upper unit #2, where the clams were kept on the deck, overlooking a sandy courtyard with a pair of swings. Just over the bluff, Twin Rocks beckoned. The tall coarse grass would whip against our legs as we ran onto the beach. Plentiful driftwood made building forts and fire pits a breeze.
Day trips included renting paddle boats at a nearby lake, climbing the big sand hill at Barview Jetty, and checking out the local candy shop. More than one evening was spent feasting on my mother’s favorite meal: fresh cooked Dungeness crab with melted butter. She especially loved the claws!
Much has changed at Rockaway Beach through the years; however, it remains a favorite remote location along the Oregon Coast with beautiful summer time sunsets. Can’t wait to go back!