After following U.S. Route 101 south from Portland for 80 miles or so you come across Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach Oregon. This 235 foot tall basalt monolith sea stack is not the only Rock called Haystack on the Oregon coast but maybe arguably the most popular. There is one in Tillamook County near Pacific City and one in Coos County Oregon near Bandon. However this one in Cannon Beach is the only intertidal rock, meaning it is accessible by foot at low tide to view the marine tidal pools. There is also a bird refuge on the rock above the mean tide level where humans are not allowed to climb. Birds such as the tern and puffin find this home. The Rock has been federally protected by Fish and Wildlife regulations since 1990 when it was declared a Marine Garden and seabird nesting refuge. The smaller rocks around the monolith are known as The Needles. Over 225,000 people a year visit this location.
Traveling down the Oregon coast from Washington this last Thanksgiving we stayed several nights in Cannon Beach. A good time of year to visit since the tourist population is minimal. The weather was unseasonably pleasant, in the mid-50's. At sunset tourists and locals alike walk the beach. I was told that it is not uncommon to have several hundred people on the beach at sunset even during these pleasant winter nights. This photo was taken at around 5:15pm during the middle of the week and that may account for the lack of beach activity. With only the one couple on the beach in the distance, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity afforded me to snap this time exposure. The sky was clear, the sunset colors were right, the crowds nonexistent and with the tide retreated. With tripod set into the salty sand, I shot this photo on the Nikon D800, with the 24-70mm zoom lens set to 40mm, f/22 at 1.3 seconds, no flash and an ISO 100. I always enjoy bright, vibrant colors and therefore most often use the "Vivid" color setting on the camera.