Oregon Coast – Brookings, Oregon

Lone Ranch Beach is four miles north of Brookings, Oregon on the fabulous Oregon Coast.   This is a pretty secluded beach a few miles north of Brookings’ very popular hiking and camping area and state park called “Harris Beach”.   Winter is my favorite time to visit the Oregon Coast because the wave action is almost always spectacular.     On this trip we also examined some of the tsunami damage to the docks and boats in Brookings Harbor, and heard from locals about the evacuation and somewhat anticlimactic tsunami –  a series of water surges in the harbor – from the Japan earthquake

Oregon Coast – Brookings, Oregon 067

Originally uploaded by JoeDuck

Oregon Coast … Mobile

Good time to review a few projects I’m associated with or working on now, and thank folks (esp. FoolsGold) for the many excellent suggestions provided over the years to improve the websites.

Over at the Online Highways empire we’re working on a mobile application for travel along the Oregon Coast that will be located at OHWY.mobi  and will feature a very simple mobile optimized architecture that branches out to Coastal Cites, Coastal Lodging, Coastal Attractions, and more.     I’m still not convinced that .mobi websites will take off as much as many believe they will because I think smartphones will get better fast and we’ll see a lot more optimization on the fly for regular websites, but it’s a good base to cover.     I’ll be trying out the dot mobi “mobi translation” routine soon which will allow me to create some .mobi sites from my Airports and Airlines information at QuickAid.com Airport Directory and and the Airport City Codes site.

Meanwhile, after failing for a very long time to find a good and inexpensive Drupal developer to finish  Retire USA, a Retirement Information Database, website, blog, and  more including the most followed Retirement related account on Twitter. I’m taking it on myself as an HTML project.    I’ll be extracting the Drupal data to a regular database we can enhance over time, and then use HTML templates and a merge routine to get a site that will look a lot like the Drupal site we had planned.     I could be wrong but I think I’ll have a simpler and faster site with almost the same functionality as Drupal.

MedicalTraveling.net is another new blog that will have a database of high quality hospitals around the world that do procedures, operations, exams, etc for lower costs than here in the great old USA.      Medical Travel and Medical Tourism articles and news will also be featured.

But wait…… there’s MORE!

America’s Wild Rivers Coast

One of the reasons I really love to live in Oregon is the Oregon Coast. “America’s Wild Rivers Coast” is a regional branding effort to point out the beauty and attractions of the southern part of the Oregon Coast and the northernmost part of California’s coast.     I spent many years working with the Southern Oregon Visitors Association “SOVA”  to help define the entire Southern Oregon region from the coast to Lake County and generally believe that’s a better approach than slicing and dicing things even smaller (as the individual counties, cities, and attractions tend to do – usually to limited effect) but the concept of a “Wild Rivers Coast” is certainly cool and totally appropriate for this amazing stretch of coastline.

We are here at the Sand Castle, a beautiful house in the Breaker House Vacation Rental’s excellent family of vacation rentals. http://www.BreakerHouse.com . Just north of Gold Beach and on the beach.

Although it offers some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in … the world … Southern Oregon and Northern California are isolated enough that they do not get the press of, say, the central and Southern California Coast or even the northern parts of Oregon. All fine coastlines of course, but to really understand the American West you’ll want to travel the entire length of the coast to get a sense of the remarkable diversity of scenery and even history and cultures, as you move from the strong Spanish influence of San Diego through the Native American heritage and whaling history of northern California and Southern Oregon to the Lewis and Clark story in northern Oregon.

Oregon Coast Bird Watching

This post falls squarely in the “SEO Experiments” category. We’ve had an informative but “plain jane” Oregon Coast website up for some time based on Oregon Coast magazine which is published by Northwest Travel Magazines.

The site has historically ranked poorly for “Oregon Coast” and related terms, probably in part because we had never done much to optimize it for search engines, and (I think) partly because quite ironically Google now struggles to properly optimize websites that have extensive internal cross linking. Ironic because extensive linking was a cornerstone of early web quality but fell out of ranking fashion as Google sought to kill off auto-generated websites that used that technique to boost their pagerank and thereby their Google rank for optimized query terms. This became a spam signal because it is so easy to create large database driven websites, but in the case of many sites it is also a good *quality signal* because the site may be very info rich, covering basically every mile of the Oregon Coast Highway 101 in good, objective detail. Google recognizes they’ve created a lot of collateral damage in this way but frankly they have not done much to fix the problem, basically feeling that there is enough “good content” that ranks well. This is wrong and unfortunate, and in travel it has led to a lot of mediocre results when better search would give detailed blog and website references to pages spawned, for example, by people who live in the place getting described and have extensive insider detail.

One part of the optimization has been to rename the site OregonCoastTravel.net and 301 redirect the old pages at 101MilebyMile.com to the new name, hoping to rank better for “Oregon Coast” and “Oregon Coast Travel” as we should.

I’m linking here to the Oregon Coast birding page because it is a straggler that has been 301 redirected to OregonCoastTravel.net but remains listed by Google at the old site. Also, it is an excellent resource page for that topic of Oregon Coast Birding. I want to see how fast this page will now be correctly reindexed.

Oregon Coast

The rumors are true.  There’s a detailed Oregon Coast website at OregonCoastTravel.net, which is the official website of the Oregon Coast Mile by Mile guide that showcases the entire Oregon Coast from California to Washington.   Highway 101 is the spectacular 363 mile National Scenic Byway and the only road along Oregon’s Coast.   Oregon Coast Travel has a feature where you can see the mileage for every point of interest along the entire Coast highway which is how the Oregon Coast Mile by Mile printed guide is designed.   You can also search the coast by city from Brookings to Astoria, including small cities as well as the tourism “hot spots” of Bandon, Lincoln City, Newport, Gold Beach, Canon Beach, and more.

Cannon Beach on Oregon’s Coast
Originally uploaded by keepitsurreal

Oregon Coast Highway 101 – The Pacific Coast National Scenic Byway

Whenever I travel out of Oregon, which is pretty often,  I can’t help but make comparisons with the geography in other states and countries.    Although I’m a big fan of California which is a lot like Oregon, and a fan of the longer detailed histories you’ll find in other countries and states, it’s very hard to find things to compare with the natural splendor of the things we’ve got right here in my very favorite state.

The most recognizable natural wonders here are the Oregon Coast and Crater Lake National Park (Crater Lake NP is featured on the official Oregon Quarter!).   Crater Lake is spectacular as are the sweeping mountains, rivers and cityscapes but I think the most unique feature of Oregon is our 363 miles of unspoiled, almost 100% gorgeous coastline.    In fairness to other states with great coasts Oregon lacks the warmth of, say, a Waikiki or even Los Angeles beach, but we make up for that with scenery that is unmatched anywhere on earth.   Over at the Oregon Coast blog I’m starting to post pictures of the coast with comments and hoping to get some guests adding their own take on our wonderful Oregon Coast.

The Oregon Coast Mile by Mile Website is from the Official Printed Guide to the Oregon Coast and covers every city along the coast as well as attractions, hotels, and more:

Astoria to Seaside
Cannon Beach to Manzanita
Manzanita to Tillamook
Tillamook to Lincoln City
Lincoln City to Newport
Newport to Yachats
Yachats to Florence
Florence to North Bend
Coos Bay to Port Orford
Port Orford to California

Cape Arago Highway
Highway 6
Three Capes Loop Highway

The People’s Coast

The Oregon Coast is arguably the top “branded” destination name in the state, and one of the top destination brands nationally, so it strikes me as very odd that some very high priced marketing firms are suggesting they rebrand our beautiful Oregon Coastline as “The People’s Coast”.

In addition to suffering from geographical vagueness and ambiguity, “The People’s Coast” is unlikely to conjure up the imagery the Oregon Coast deserves – powerful crashing surf, beautiful sandy beaches, rocky sea stacks towering majestically just off the shore, a lush blue spruce and fir forest sweeping down to the shoreline, and so much more.

Sure, the Oregon Coast is a “People’s Coast”, just like Viet Nam’s where the “People’s Coast Guard”  stands watch, but I’m not feeling how this brand is going to take off, let alone bring more folks to the state.   More importantly terms like the People’s Coast diminish the current powerful theme of the Oregon Coast which not only promotes that region but associates it with the rest of Oregon.     I’m partial to my own region – Southern Oregon – which I promoted online for many years and which includes portions of the magnificent Oregon Coast. whoops, I guess I mean that Southern Oregon contains portions of the People’s Coast…

Yachats, Oregon

Back from a great trip over to lovely Yachats, Oregon where we stayed at the beautiful Adobe Resort for two nights. 

The big Oregon storm is well over and the weather was cold but clear, with beautiful surf.   On Saturday night we headed north to Lincoln City for a a spectacular dinner at the Bay House, a new fine dining restaurant overlooking the sea.   It’s one of Oregon’s finest restaurants for good reason.   My dinner?   Seared scallops with a rabbit confite accompanied by a light pinot gris wine.