After Highway 101, the Pacific Coast Highway, was built in the 1920s, beaches were no longer required for commerce and transport, however, people continued to drive along them for recreation. People still drove down to the beach, as they do today, to enjoy themselves. Driving next to the ocean requires careful attention to the tide. This photo, from Roads End at the north of Lincoln City, shows what happened when a 1950 visitor went swimming and forgot to check the tide tables. As the saying goes, “Time and tide wait for no man.”
It is no longer possible to drive along many sections of Oregon’s beaches. Later changes in the law, erosion and other natural changes in the land, and the need to protect fragile natural areas keep automobiles off the sands in many areas. But where driving on the sand is still permitted, it is still prudent to keep one eye on the water.