The View From Your Window Contest: Winner #103


A reader writes:

Looks like Maine, but really could be almost anywhere along the New England coast. So I'll take a stab in the dark and say Kennebunkport – Bush was in the news this week, right?

Another writes:

Well, from the architecture and the construction of the bridge, it appears to be Northern California, one of my favorite places on the planet.  I'm entirely devoid of Google-Earthly skills, so this is a complete guess, but it sure looks like Bodega Bay, where Hitchcock shot the gas station fire in The Birds, looking north from the ocean side.


Oh, if I didn't have to crank out a bunch of work this week to make up for Memorial Day coming up, I could spend more than two minutes looking at the photo.  That being said, I lived in Seattle for about 10 years and it looks a lot like the Puget Sound/the San Juan Islands.  Maybe Friday Harbor? Wherever it is, it's making me homesick.


It actually could be any location along the Oregon or northern California coasts – that bridge just reeks of Highway 101, as well as the blue building in the background. But I don't have all day to obsess over Google Maps, so I'll just throw my dart at Coos Bay, Oregon as a placeholder, mainly because it doesn't look like Florence or Yachats. Maybe Lincoln City. Probably not Astoria.


For the first time, I knew instantly where the view was: looking north toward the Highway 1 bridge over the Noyo River toward Fort Bragg, California. Just north of the town of Mendocino, this former logging town is home to the Skunk Train, MacKerricher State Park, and lots of pick-up trucks.

Another gets cute:

Cialis, a quaint seaside village:

Cialis red

For once, a VFYW that wasn't hard. I'm sometimes stimulated to search the net for an entry, but this time it just came. I hope you're able to open the photo showing that special spot from which the photo is taken. If not, let me know – I could always copy it from my hard drive onto a floppy disc.

Aaand another:

The geography and architecture are both 100% Oregon Coast, and the closest bridge resemblence I can find is the Yaquina Bay Bridge.  I am going to guess Newport, OR, somewhere along SW 26th street.

Close. Another nails it:

This one was easy for an Oregonian! I guess I'm aiming for the fastest response prize, since I won the book two weeks ago. This is a view north from the deck of the Admiral's Suite, top floor at the Channel House B&B in Depoe Bay, Oregon. The bridge is a distinctive icon for people who know the Oregon Coast. The photo on their website shows the bathtub that is also seen in the VFYW image.

Another gets to that link through a different path:

Looking for "semicircular bridge" got me the phrase "arch span bridge". Googling "arch span bridge" got me to the Depoe Bay Bridge. Google-imaging the bay got me to Ellingsworth Street. Which I thought was pretty good, but my boyfriend pointed out that, with a little more sleuthing, we could probably zero in on exactly where the photo was taken. And ten minutes of clicking around later, we found this, which appears to be the room from which that photo was taken.

Another gets more detailed:

The bridge is a dead giveaway for anyone who has been to Oregon, as it bears the clean lines and arches that are the signature of engineer Conde McCullough, who designed a score of bridges for US Route 101, along the coast. A bit of image searching for his bridges, looking for one with the arch purely underneath the roadway, and running through a town, reveals this to be in Depoe Bay. Some Street View and hotel searching reveals the View to be from the Channel House Inn, 35 Ellingson Street, Depoe Bay, Oregon, 97341. Looking at the photos from the Inn's website, we find two suites that each have a hot tub on the balcony with a spout in the same configuration as in the View. These are the #1, the Admiral's Suite, on the top floor:


and #3, the Whale Watch suite, on the second floor.


Given the height of the View, looking across the roadway to the building on the other side, I would opt for the higher suite (#1, the Admiral's Suite). Photos by someone who stayed in this suite match up nicely to the View, even to the detail of the widths of the shingles. Here is a nice photo from outside, the red rectangle showing the openings that can be seen in the View of the balcony of the Admiral's Suite at the Channel House Inn:



This week's photo was obviously taken somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. At first I figured it would be located further south, maybe near Coos Bay, but after starting my map search at the south end of the state and working my way north, examining each coastal settlement with a smallish inlet and bridge close to the sea (Curry County, Coos County, Douglas County, Lane County…) I hit paydirt with the open-spandrel arch bridge at Depoe Bay. And though I was happy to not have been forced to run the same exercise going south (California is a lot longer N-S than Oregon!), I also kicked myself a little given my having driven over this span numerous times in the 20 years I've lived in Oregon. Here's another view of the same bridge taken from a similar (if somewhat lower) vantage point:



After spending more time that I'd like to admit scouring pictures and maps of the California coast, looking for that distinctive bridge that would seem right at home in Big Sur, we found the Channel House Inn in Depoe Bay, OR. An assist should go to Alaska's long days and interminable twilight, as we didn't realize just how late we were staying up, fixating on a photo.

The Channel House is at 35 Ellingson St, just off the channel to what the Depoe Bay Chamber of Commerce says is the "world's smallest navigable harbor." After perusing Tripadvisor reviews and some photos on the hotel website, we have come to the conclusion that the view is from the Admiral's Suite, located on the top corner of the north wing. (see photo). Or it could be the Whalewatch suite, beneath the Admiral's. But we're going to go with the Admiral's, and hope that the VFYW submitter was "CyberTrucker" or "BikerbabeofBend" who stayed in the Admiral's suite and also submitted some Tripadvisor photos. Here's our chosen window, looking back across the channel:


This may have been the easiest contest yet, consisting of more than 250 entries, the vast majority of them correctly answering Depoe Bay. But only a handful of readers have correctly guessed previous windows without winning, and their entries are seen above. Among them, the reader who has entered more contests than any other – about two dozen – is the winner this week: his initials are T.F. 

Another reader:

Filmgoers should also recognize the spot. Depoe Bay is the site of the fishing expedition in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

More fun facts:

If local trivia counts for extra points, the Spouting Horn is just to the north, a geologic oddity on the rocky shoreline that, because of it's funnel-like shape, can shoot huge spumes of water up in the air during the storms that come rolling in every winter. Further local trivia: Depoe Bay used to be the (probably tertiary or beyond) summer home of Angelina Jolie!

Another local:

Just behind the pillar is a whale watching center where, if you are lucky, you can spot the spray from passing pods of Gray Whales.


My wife grew up south of there, and it is equidistant between where I hunt ducks to the south and pursue the rare chum salmon on the Kilchis River that flows into Tillamook Bay (home off the famous cheese) about 45 miles to the north. On the east side of the road lay about 20 tourist shops and Gracie's Sea Hag restaurant, which isn't the worst place for fish and chips and a pint after a rainy Oregon morning standing in a river.

Bonus footage of the bay we found while unsuccessfully searching for that scene from Cuckoo's Nest: