Oh thou art SOOooooo coooool!

Sometimes you discover something that is SO ÜBER COOL you just have to find out everything about it. This happened to me a few weeks ago as I was writing about our visit to Cape Arago and discovered this post about concretions. I had never heard about these things and was immediately intrigued. A rock that grows inside another rock? The creation of outlandish spherical bulbs of all sizes? Rocks that contain fossilized matter inside? Rocks that grow to be as big as a person? Landscapes of giant rocks that look like outer space?

OMG…this is the most totally cool thing EVER! I was hooked and absolutely, positively needed to find these things and see them for myself.

Thus began a 2-week expedition of “concretion hunting” with some fun exploration and exciting pictures to boot. Not only have I discovered the best local hiding spots around Charleston and Shore Acres, but I’ve learnt alot more about these unusual and fun geological structures.

Lu & Terry pose at one of “the giants” in Fossil Point

Concretions come in all sizes

So what exactly IS a concretion? Structurally they are compact masses of mineral matter embedded in a host rock of other matter. They typically start to form around a “nucleus” of some sort (a shell, a crab, a leaf whatever) and grow inside cracks and cavities of other rocks or get buried in sediment that then hardens. The net effect of all this is a rock within a rock….or more specifically one type of rock inside another type. Surprisingly they are actually really common, but for a non-geologist like me finding these things is akin to the discovery of chocolate sauce on ice cream -> a totally delicious revelation!

Concretions at Yoakam Point -> AWESOME!

So now that I’ve got you all hot and bothered to see them, where do you actually go to find these hidden gems? The area around Charleston & Shore Acres actually has 5 excellent spots with concretions of all sizes, two of which I discovered with my cousin and one (“the giants”) that I scoped out yesterday with our RV buddies Lu & Terry (Paint Your Landscape) who just rolled into town. They are ALL worth visiting and these are my top picks (map at bottom):

Walking around the giants at Fossil Point

Part of “the wall” at Yoakam Point

“The line” at Simpson Beach

1/ “The Giants” at Fossil Point -> Humungous man-size concretions that are best seen at absolute low tide. Going north from Charleston, cross the bridge and drive ~1.8 miles along Cape Arago Hwy. Park at the first turnout on your left after Fossil Point road. Hike around the point to the south until you see the monsters. This is also a great spot to hunt fossils, as you’d expect. Be prepared for mud!

2/  “The Wall” at Yoakam Point -> A spattering of softball-size concretions on a cool wall that juts into the ocean. These are also best seen at low tide where more of the beach is open to walking. Going south from Charleston along Cape Arago Hwy, drive past Oceanside RV Park and take the first turn-out on your right a little ways up the hill. There are several poles and the entry to a trail, but no signs. Follow the trail to the beach and go right from there to see the wall.  The beach here is also, incidently, one of the best places to get a view of closed-to-the-public Cape Arago Lighthouse.

3/ “The Line & Seat” at Simpson Beach -> A really cool line of ground concretions and interesting wall-set big enough to sit on. Simpson Beach is reached by trail directly from Shore Acres State Park. Simply take the trail to the beach and walk to the south end to see the concretions.

All in all a good few weeks hunting with a darn good set of catches. The cool and wacky world of concretions is just as fun in person as they are in print, so if you haven’t yet been seduced by these rocks, I’d recommend letling yourself go and giving it a try. Fun, discovery and rocks to write home about. Priceless!

Beauty of giants at Fossil Point

My cuz on “the seat” at Simpson Beach in Shore Acres State Park

Hanging at Simpson Beach

One side of “the wall” at Yoakam Point

Fossils at…you guessed it Fossil Point!

A partially revealed concretion at Yoakam Point

Map of Charleston area with best concretion hunting spots

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the product links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. That said, I only ever recommend products or services I personally use and love! Wheelingit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Tagged with:
 

10 Responses to Rocks In Rocks – Discovering The Cool & Wacky World Of Concretions

  1. That is very cool! I’ll be on the lookout for concretions – maybe I’ll find some, too. Probably not, but I’ll look anyway. :)

    • libertatemamo says:

      Now that I know what they look like I’m getting better at “seeing” them. I love discovering stuff like this. Gives you a whole new outlook on what you see around you :)
      NIna

  2. yep – pretty cool and on the list – we hit the Oregon coast in Florence again in about 4 days…

    • libertatemamo says:

      Cooool! You guys coming south from there? We’ll be all next month (Aug) in Cape Blanco so if you’re heading that direction we’d love to see you.
      NIna

  3. Donna K says:

    That is cool! And I didn’t know anything about it. Another thing to check out in my home state…can’t ask for better than that. Glad you are enjoying Oregon and making some great finds.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Happy to give you more ideas for discovery! Love sharing these things! We saw a TON of folks out clamming at low tide in Charleston when we were there at low-tide too. So much to see and do in this area.
      Nina

  4. Your photos are so amazing! Where was that first one taken, Yoakam Pt?

    • libertatemamo says:

      Thanks Lu. Yup the 1st one was taken at Yoakam point. Managed to catch a nice light on that one
      Nina.

  5. mllowe says:

    Wow, never heard of such a thing. Are these only located on the Oregon Coast ?

    • libertatemamo says:

      Apparently they are fairly common, although there seems to be a particularly high concentration right here on the southern OR coast. They’re fun to find!
      Nina

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.