Journeying Oregon’s New Marine Reserves by Bike: Cascade Head

Photo: The Pacific Ocean just north of Cascade Head. Photograph by Helen Helfand.

By Chris Rurik and Helen Helfand

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Photo: The Pacific Ocean just north of Cascade Head. Photograph by Helen Helfand.

Terry Thompson finds us in a parking lot in Lincoln City. After traversing this strip of a town all morning, looking for signs of the marine reserve just offshore, we have ended up outside the uninspiring four-story city administration building with little to show for our effort.

Yesterday we struggled mightily to bike over Cascade Head, another of the coast’s magnificent headlands, a steep knuckle of the continent decked in forest and salt-spray meadows. On land, it boasts an impressive number of overlapping conservation schemes, their acronyms as tangled as second-growth forest. We pushed on, looking for a place to see the 23.1 square miles of the new Cascade Head Marine Reserve and its associated marine protected areas. We have read that it contains more than 70 emergent rocks and excellent habitat for rockfish. But Highway 101 stuck to the backside of the headland and swept us down into Lincoln City with hardly a glimpse of the ocean.

During the morning’s reconnaissance, we drifted into relic shops, motels with puns for names, and diners facing up to —> Read More Here

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