One of the other beautiful sunsets I was able to witness over these gloomy winter months was out at Cape Kiwanda. I've been here several times (as you can see by viewing images in my PNW gallery), but this is the first time I have experienced a light pillar. Actually, I'm pretty sure this is one of the only times I have even seen a light pillar, let alone photographed one.
A light pillar is an atmospheric optical phenomenon in the form of a vertical band of light which appears to extend above and/or below a light source. The effect is created by the reflection of light from numerous tiny ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere or clouds. The light can come from the Sun (usually when it is near or even below the horizon) in which case the phenomenon is called a sun pillar or solar pillar. It can also come from the Moon or from terrestrial sources such as streetlights. (Source: Wikipedia)
It was a truly amazing spectacle. Enjoy this series of images from that sunset.