Escaping the Heat at Boiler Bay

It’s another stifling steamy summer weekend in the Willamette Valley, so we blow town for the day.  When the temperature soars, most people pour out of Portland and head for Cannon Beach or Seaside to cool off.  Be warned:  if you don’t get there by 11 am, you will not find a parking spot!  We decide not to sweat it, and instead take the scenic two-hour drive south from Portland via Highway 18 toward Lincoln City on the Central Oregon Coast.

Highway 18 to Lincoln City isn’t really yellow.

Lincoln City is a quirky beach town full of artists.  Lucky beachcombers might find a glass float (or other glass booty) local artists hide along the seven mile coastline to attract tourists.  If you don’t score a treasure, you can always pick up some art in town at one of the glass-blowing shops.

The two hour drive in Boyfriend’s air conditioned Jeep gives us plenty of time for conversation. Somewhere along the way, he casually drops the “M” word for the first time!  It isn’t a proposal, but dudes don’t just say that stuff!  My mind races, “Wait, what did he just say?  Ok, act cool Darce!  Don’t spook him!  Let him just keep talking.”  (I may talk a big game, but I can be a very jumpy lady!)  He seems legit, so I promote him from Boyfriend to having a name:  Andy.  We may be escaping the heat, but I’m feeling a bit warm! 

The Search for Sparkles

We roll into Lincoln City, score a parking spot right away, and rush to the beach to start searching for those sea treasures!  But no luck, as only the sparkles we see are on the water.  And the sand is swarming with other Portlanders also fleeing the mercury! 

It’s way too crowded for a romantic picnic, so we car-hike south and stumble upon a park overlooking the ocean at Boiler Bay.  There’s plenty of parking, picnic benches with a front row to the scenery, almost no one else around, and (yay!) bathrooms!  And not just roadside plastic privacy boxes, but actual restrooms!  Now we can settle down for an afternoon of relaxation.  And freshly-washed hands.

Above: treats don’t have to be tricky to be sexy!

Left: The Boiler Bay Sandwich, in the kitchen and in the wild!

The basket produces an eclectic mix of treats:  Vietnamese banh mi style sandwiches (since dubbed “Boiler Bay Sandwiches”), orzo pasta, brie and Manchego cheeses with crackers, sliced melon, and Three Wishes Chardonnay. 

Three Wishes is bottom-shelf wine you can find at Whole Foods for about $4.99.  Think the Whole Foods version of “Two Buck Chuck,” but a bit smoother.  So we blow the extra three dollars, because the Traveling Glasses are worth it!  Splurge, Baby, splurge! 

Boiler Bay, named for the boiler visible at low tide of a ship that crashed in 1910.

Our view from atop a bluff is stunning:  rocky cliffs, crashing waves, and sea lion pups resting safely out of reach on Boiler Bay’s beach.  The bay gets its name from the fiery 1910 shipwreck of a steam schooner.  At low tide, you can still see the J. Marhoffer’s rusty boiler from Highway 101 near where the boat ran aground.

Discovering a Treasure in Plain Sight

After our relaxing afternoon, we decide to go a little farther south to the tiny town of Depot Bay.  We wander into a packed restaurant overlooking the ocean, but manage to grab seats at the bar.  We had no idea we were at one the most popular seafood restaurants on the Oregon Coast: Tidal Raves.  You often need to get reservations months in advance for a seat at this fabulous bar and grill!  

We didn’t take a photo from Tidal Raves, so we borrowed one from Trip Advisor!

Besides the jaw-dropping view, Tidal Raves is known for cocktails made with their own barrel-aged recipes, craft beers, and a selection of costal wines.  Andy drinks a Moscow Mule and I sip a Mercer Canyons Riesling.  

We also order up a couple of plates of oysters, still playing it safe with baked oysters on the half shell and shooters.  Turns out, our friendly bartender is super-knowledgeable about oysters, and tells us he recently sampled them at the source: just up the coast at Netarts Bay.  Perhaps next time we will get a little bolder with our bivalve selections.

Signs in the Sky

At twilight, we head back to sweltering Portland not really caring that Google gets us lost and sends us the long way.  Or that there’s a weird, hot smell coming from somewhere in the engine of Andy’s Jeep!  

Just before we make it to my townhouse, a meteor whizzes across the sky.  Then another, a meteor shower!  What a grand finale:  we finally find our sparkles… in the sky!

Boiler Bay Pork Sandwiches

This Asian-influenced pork sandwich holds up well in a backpack or picnic basket, and will satisfy hungry hikers!
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Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Picnic
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4
Calories 482 kcal


  • 1 Baguette 24 inches, split lengthwise
  • ¼ cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 cups Pork loin roasted and thinly-sliced
  • 2 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1 clove Garlic minced
  • 2 tsp Fish sauce
  • ¼ cup Cilantro chopped
  • 1 Cucumber thinly-sliced
  • 2 Carrots thinly-sliced
  • 1 Red Onion thinly-sliced
  • 1 Jalapeno thinly-sliced


  • Spread mayo on both sides of the sliced baguette
  • In a large bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients and let sit for 5 minutes
  • Layer on the bottom of the baguette, pork on bottom, then veggies, roughly-chopped Romaine last (to keep the top bun from getting soggy)
  • Cut sandwich into 4 equal parts and wrap tightly in plastic wrap


Best made at least 4 hours before serving to alow the flavor to develop.


Calories: 482kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 34gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 1295mgPotassium: 806mgFiber: 3gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 5269IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 107mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Asian, jalapeno, pork, sandwich
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1 comment

  1. This is one of my favorites!