Dl   Oregon Coast Secret Beach 12

Secret Beach © Dan Leffel

NOV 8-15, 2020

with Jeremy Woodhouse & Tonya Colson

Join me and Tonya Colson (an Oregonian of 30 years) on a 7-day tour of the Oregon Coast. We will be there in early November, the crowds will be gone—we will have the place to ourselves.

We will be conducting the tour in a responsible Covid-19 fashion. You will drive in your own vehicle (or a rental), we will keep tripods 6 feet apart, and we will be eating outside where possible, and in small groups when it is not possible. We WILL use masks when necessary.

It has been 7 months since I have travelled outside Texas and I am eager to get back into nature. If you are interested in this landscape photography tour, please contact me as soon as possible.

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Tidal Pool © Dan Leffel

Dl   Oregon Coast Heceta Head Lighthouse 3

Heceta Head Lighthouse © Dan Leffel


Pre-tour, Nov 8: Arrive Portland, OR
On arrival in Portland you will make your own way to the hotel in your own vehicle. The group will meet at 7PM in the lobby to discuss the week's activities. Please bring your masks.

O/N Radisson Hotel Portland Airport
Just three miles from Portland International Airport (PDX), Radisson Hotel Portland Airport provides a quiet and comfortable retreat for busy travelers. Hop on our free, 24-hour shuttle to and from the airport for easy connections, or book one of our park-and-stay packages and leave your car at the hotel for up to 15 days.

Day 1, Nov 9: Portland | Brookings | Bandon 
Low Tide 12:32PM; High Tide 6:53AM, 5:55PM

Today we will make the drive down south to the Oregon/California border. Arriving mid-afternoon, oiur initial destination will be Secret Beach where we will photograph until sunset.

Sunset at Secret Beach**
Find the trail entrance to Secret Beach about 1/3 mile south of milepost 345 on U.S. 101 in Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor. There is a small gravel parking area that leads to the 3/4 mile trail down to Secret Beach. Visit at low tide.

Once the sun has gone down we head north up the 101 to Bandon where we will spend the next 2 nights.

O/N Sunset Motel
Family owned and operated for four generations, Sunset Oceanfront Lodging is beautifully situated on high ground overlooking a sandy beach, majestic sea stacks, and the Pacific Ocean. 

**Meeting Spot for Secret Beach

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Day 2, Nov 10: Bandon

Low Tide 1:12AM, 2:02PM; High Tide 7:59AM, 7:43PM

Sunrise at Face Rock State Scenic
Depending on the weather and the state of the tides, we will find a scenic spot to photograph at sunrise before heading back to the hotel for breakfast.

After breakfast we will spend the rest of the day exploring the beaches and tidepools around Bandon. Who knows, we may get stormy seas, foggy weather, it is very unpredictable but we will take what nature throws at us.

Sunset in Bandon
Bandon awaits the beachcomber, the explorer, the artist and the dreamer. Located along Bandon's Beach Loop Road, there are several locations with beach access, picnicking and unsurpassed views. Parking is ample at all locations.

Bandon Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the Oregon Coast for photography. The beach is easy to access and is home to fabulously shaped sea stacks. 

The main area for photography is a 1-mile stretch just south of the Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint. There are several great sea stacks including Merlin’s hat and Face Rock. Due to the unpredictability of the weather on the southern Oregon Coast we may have wait for the perfect sunset.

Day 3, Nov 11: Bandon | Yachats, OR

Low Tide 2:08AM, 2:59PM; High Tide 8:59AM, 9:09PM

Sunrise at the Heceta Lighthouse
Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint is located in a cove at the mouth of Cape Creek. There are picnic tables sheltered from the wind and a great view of the ocean. A short trail leads to the historic Heceta Head lighthouse and assistant keeper's house.

Heceta Head trail is part of a 7-mile network. Trails of varying difficulty feature beach and wildlife viewing areas. Wildlife refuge islands feature a view of common murres, cormorants, gulls, and other bird nesting areas. Sea lions and whales can be seen from the beach and cliff-top lighthouse.

On the west side of 1,000-foot-high Heceta Head, 205 feet above the ocean, the lighthouse is one of the most photographed on the coast. The light at top of 56-foot tower was illuminated in 1894; the automated beacon, seen 21 miles from land, is rated as the strongest light on the Oregon coast.

Common murres, which lay their eggs on the bare rocks, can be easily seen by looking down, just over the railing near the lighthouse. Brown pelicans commonly fly by, as do bald eagles. 

There are natural caves and tide pools to explore with your camera.

Day-use parking permits are required year round at Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint. We will purchase the $5 daily permit from a machine at the park.

Sunset at Thors Well
Thor’s Well is located near Spouting Horn at Cook’s Chasm in the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area near Yachats. It can be viewed by taking the Captain Cook Trailhead from the Visitor Center where it is located on the rocky shelf just north of Cook’s Chasm. When tides are right, water surges upward from the bowl carved out of the basalt shoreline and then drains back into the opening. Depending on the tidal conditions and the weather will determine how close we will be able to get to this spot.

Formations like Thor’s Well and Spouting Horn are typically formed over long periods of time geologically. They begin as a sea cave and eventually the top of the cave collapses, leaving an opening where the tide surges from below send water shooting upward with dramatic force.

O/N Dublin House Motel, Yachats
On Hwy 101, Oregon's Pacific Coast National Scenic Byway, The Dublin House Motel is centrally located to offer visitors the best of the Oregon Coast both north and south. From Historic Nye Beach and the Oregon Aquarium to Cape Perpetua, Sea Lion Caves and the Oregon Dunes, beautiful Yachats is within a short drive to it all! 

Day 4, Nov 12: Yachats | Newport | Lincoln City, OR

Low Tide 3:10AM, 4:04PM; High Tide 9:37AM, 10:12PM

Sunrise Thor's Well
This morning we will have another opportunity to photograph Thor's Well just incase we were skunked by weather or the tide. Following breakfast we will continue our journey up the 101.

Yaquina Lighthouse
A pretty lighthouse, near-shore rocks that offer habitat and viewing of seabirds and marine life, and a spectacular tide-pool area are among the attractions here. You might see gray whales here even during nonmigratory times. It’s just one of many stops along the Coast highway to view Oregon’s historic lighthouses. Just below the lighthouse are many tide pools where you will be able to photograph colourful creatures such as starfish, urchins and anemones. 

During low tide, the Neskowin Ghost Forest is in view. The "forest" features remnants of an ancient Sitka spruce forest with the stumps estimated to be about 2000 years old.

In the town of Neskowin, you’ll find a general store, restaurant and two golf courses amid the lovely ocean cottages. A bit north, you can canoe and kayak on the relatively undeveloped estuary of Nestucca Bay.

Sunset at Cape Kiwanda
Cape Kiwanda is part of the Three Capes Scenic Route (along with Cape Meares and Cape Lookout). Kiwanda is the smallest of the three, but it is one of the best places to experience spectacular wave action. 

Important: some cliffside areas of the park are fenced for your safety. Don't cross the fence line. There are great views from the established viewpoints. Beyond the fence, the sandstone cliff edge can crumble without warning. Seven people have died falling into the ocean and onto the rocks since 2009. A special work group made of state and local officials, local businesses and residents, and emergency first responders will meet to discuss and propose action on this issue.

O/N Seagull Inn, Lincoln City
Conveniently located off Highway 101, this Lincoln City, Oregon motel offers ocean view rooms and free WiFi. 

Day 5, Nov 13: Lincoln City | Seaside | Astoria, OR

Low Tide 5:20AM, 6:15PM; High Tide 10:16AM, 11:11PM

Sunrise at Cape Kiwanda

Garibaldi is a cozy fishing village on Oregon’s Tillamook Coast, home to the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad and a bustling harbor for fishing, crabbing and boating. 

Sunset at Cannon Beach
Haystack Rock towers on the shoreline. Waterfalls cascade onto the sand at Hug Point. Marine life peeks out at low tide. It’s no wonder National Geographic listed Cannon Beach as one of the 100 most beautiful places in the world in 2013. Plus the city’s many art galleries, restaurants, boutiques and oceanfront lodging can easily spark your imagination. If you’re into those kinds of things.

After the sun has gone down we will drive north to historic Astoria

With a stay at Hampton Inn and Suites Astoria in Astoria, you'll be on the waterfront and minutes from Hanthorn Cannery Museum, and close to Uppertown Firefighters Museum and The Children's Museum. This hotel is within close proximity of Astoria Aquatic Center and Astoria Column. A complimentary hot/cold buffet breakfast is served daily.

Day 6, Nov 14: Astoria, OR

Sunrise in Astoria OR
We will spend the whole day in historic Astoria. With quaint Victorian homes perched on a steep hillside above the wide mouth of the Columbia River, it’s easy to see why the bustling port town of Astoria has been called “Little San Francisco.” Astoria was founded in 1811 as a fur trading post and became the first permanent U.S. settlement on the Pacific coast. These days, Astoria presents a delightful mix of old and new experiences.

The Astoria Downtown Historic District alone includes dozens of buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Visit the Flavel House Museum, an 1885 Queen Anne-style house that was home to a Columbia River bar pilot and an early millionaire. Take in a show at the Liberty Theater, a beautifully restored Italianate theater first built in 1925 and the host of the annual Astoria International Film Festival. Climb the 125-foot Astoria Column, built in 1926 and offering breathtaking, 360-degree views of the river, ocean and town. Learn about the Corps of Discovery at nearby Fort Clatsop, where Lewis and Clark spent the winter of 1805-06.

You’ll get an eyeful of the mighty Columbia as you drive across the 4.1-mile Astoria-Megler Bridge, a steel cantilever through truss bridge soaring over the river (the longest continuous truss bridge in North America). Visit the Columbia River Maritime Museum for an interactive history lesson about the treacherous Columbia Bar, the history of the salmon industry and more. The nearby Barbey Maritime Center is an homage to the art of wooden boat building. Stroll the waterfront along the Astoria Riverwalk trail for views of large freighters passing under the span of the bridge.

As part of the North Coast Beer Trail, Astoria offers plenty of pours for craft beer lovers. Rogue Ales Public House, Fort George Brewery + Public House, Astoria Brewing Company and Wet Dog Café, Buoy Beer Company and Hondo’s Brew Pub offer many options for great Oregon craft beer, friendly Astorian hospitality and hearty pub menus.

Blue Scorcher Bakery & Café serves a delightful selection of freshly baked breads and pastries as well as a delicious, all organic breakfast and lunch menu. Astoria Coffee House & Bistro, open all day, offers comfort food ranging from rich cioppino to wild mushroom gnocchi. Hit Bowpicker Fish & Chips for beer battered tuna served from a converted gillnet boat across from the maritime museum. For a romantic dinner, book a table at T Paul’s Supper Club or Bridgewater Bistro.

Sunset in Astoria

Day 7, Nov 15: Astoria, OR
Sunrise in Astoria OR

After breakfast we will head back to Portland to catch flights home. 


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Oregon Coast © Dan Leffel

Dl   Oregon Coast Florence Bridge 20

Florence Bridge © Dan Leffel

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Newport Bridge © Dan Leffel

Dl   Oregon Coast Yaquina Head 6

Yaquina Head Lighthouse © Dan Leffel

Arrival, Departure

​Arrival & Meeting Place 
We will meet at the Radisson Hotel Portland Airport. Just three miles from Portland International Airport (PDX), Radisson Hotel Portland Airport provides a quiet and comfortable retreat for busy travelers. Hop on our free, 24-hour shuttle to and from the airport for easy connections, or book one of our park-and-stay packages and leave your car at the hotel for up to 15 days.



Daily high temperatures decrease by 5°F, from 59°F to 54°F, rarely falling below 48°F or exceeding 65°F.

Daily low temperatures decrease by 4°F, from 48°F to 44°F, rarely falling below 36°F or exceeding 55°F.

For reference, on August 24, the hottest day of the year, temperatures in Bandon typically range from 54°F to 66°F, while on December 20, the coldest day of the year, they range from 42°F to 53°F.

Hopefully we will be able to experience some of the coastal storms that Oregon is famous for rather than a series of clear blue sky days.

Tide Forecast


TOUR COST: $1,800

DEPOSIT: $500 
Group size 6

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Tour Price Includes

  • Guiding to locations, local knowledge of weather patterns, favorable tides and surf, and best locations based on those conditions
  • One on one instruction both in the field and post processing sessions during our down time
  • Post processing sessions. (we will have a post processing session where we sit down together go over workflow and post processing techniques, all with masks
  • The pleasure of travelling with Tonya and me.

Tour Price Excludes

  • Travel to and from Portland, OR.
  • Lodging: Information on lodging options and locations will be sent out upon signup
  • Transportation: Because of Covid-19 we expect participants to use their own transport. If you are coming with a friend and you trust that they are Covid-free, that works. There will be NO group transportation
  • Fees: Parking fees and State Park entry fees
  • Meals: We will be careful when eating meals with social distance of paramount importance. All meals are the responsibility of the participant.

    Paying by check

    If you would like to pay your deposit and/or balance with a check, please make the check payable to: Pixelchrome, Inc and mail it to:

    Nicole Woodhouse
    Pixelchrome, Inc, 
    605 Rouen Drive, 
    McKinney TX 75072

    Paying by Wire Transfer

    If you would like to pay by Wire Transfer please contact nicole@pixelchrome.com for bank account details.

    Dress for the Weather

    • Important note on weather and clothing: In November, weather can be chilly
    • Bring waterproof clothing 
    • We recommend you bring rubber boots so that you can photograph in the surf without getting your feet too wet

    Equipment Checklist

    • Bring you own laptop computer and storage media
    • Camera body(s)
    • Lenses, 16-35mm, 24-70mm zoom and 70-200mm zoom or similar lenses are very good
    • Light bag for easy hiking with camera bodies and accessories
    • Cleaning kit for cameras and lenses
    • Rain/dust covers for cameras and lenses
    • Charger for batteries
    • Spare batteries
    • Spare Memory cards
    • Memory card reader
    • USB key to exchange images

    Also good to have

    • Tripod
    • Good quality polarizing filter

    Oregon Coast Hotels

    Pre-tour, Nov 8: Portland (check-in 3:00PM)
    (503) 251-2000 

    Radisson Portland Airport
    Health & Safety

    Day 1 & 2, Nov 9-10: Bandon  
    (check-in 3:00PM)
    (541) 347-2453
    Sunset Motel
    Breakfast will be a grab 'n go bagged muffin, yoghurt and apple sauce.
    $144.05 incl tax

    Day 3, Nov 11: Yachats (check-in 4:00PM)
    (866) 922-4287

    Dublin House Motel
    Breakfast not included

    Day 4, Nov 12: Lincoln City
    (check-in 4:00PM)
    (800) 422-0219

    Seagull Motel
    Breakfast not included
    This is a Covid-19 first responder hotel

    Day 5 & 6, Nov 13-14: Astoria
    (check-in 3:00PM)

    (503) 325-8888
    Grab 'n Go Breakfast
    Hampton Inn
    $141.55 plus tax

    Day 7, Nov 14: Portland

    Covid-19 Corner

    Covid-19 Precautions

    Instructors will wear masks while teaching at close range

    Clients are encouraged to wear masks whenever they are at close range

    Where possible, we will practice social distancing. Tripods 6ft apart.

    You are encouraged to wash hands frequently and use hand sanitiser. Bring a cloth to wipe down your tripod each day. This will serve 2 purposes. Get rid of any nasty bacteria and remove salt from the ocean spray.

    Covid-19 Travel Hacks from Kayak.com

    Tips for Flying during Covid-19

    Tips for staying in a hotel during Covid-19

    What to know about COVID-19 and rental cars

    1593663 Orig

    MedJet has added Covid-19 Transport Benefit

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    While transport of hospitalized Covid-19 patients was not possible during the initial phase of the pandemic, we are pleased to inform you that:

    • Medjet is now able to transport a member hospitalized with Covid-19, while traveling in the contiguous 48 United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean Islands, to a hospital of their choice at home. We are the only membership program to have added this benefit.
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