Oregon Coast Part 1: Cannon Beach

Mid August 2015

Living on the west coast of North America, one of the most beautiful road trips I believe you can ever do, is to take the Pacific Coast Highway along the Oregon coast. It runs from northwest Washington, Seattle area or the Olympic Peninsula, all the way down through Oregon and California to the Baja Peninsula.

The drive is leisurely and tranquil, windy and hilly, with absolutely stunning ocean views at nearly every turn, and thick old growth forests. It is continuously shades of emerald and azure, with puffy white clouds and foaming waves, dark brown mud flats and soft brown and grey sands.

I went on this beautiful drive with my parents and youngest brother, 6 days of the most gorgeous coastal scenery I’ve ever experienced! The first day was a long drive from home to Cannon Beach, our first stop, in dad’s big truck pulling a camping trailer.


Our first day in Cannon Beach, we slept in, made bacon and eggs for breakfast, using dad’s special camping method which is to first fry the bacon, pour of the majority of the grease and then cook the eggs on top of the bacon in the pan. The result… delicious! The smell of bacon and coffee and pine trees and the crisp morning air… it smells like childhood memories!!!
I haven’t been camping like this in years!!  The smell of the gently sun warmed pine trees at dinner time after we settled into our campsite in Cannon Beach… BBQing food… delicious red wine… and a good book and even better company. Absolutely the most fantastic way to relax and enjoy family time!

Days in Cannon Beach consisted of wandering around the town sipping coffee from local shops… seaside towns are super cute!! I don’t even know how to describe it but they all have a distinct look… lots of raw woods, salt stained siding, pretty little dorm windows and portholes, colorful trim, brilliantly cheerful and vibrant flower pots and hanging baskets everywhere… American flags…

Coffee shops, restaurants spreading aromas of clam chowders and fishy deliciousness, candy shops for all the kiddos, souvenior shops, and… Cannon Beach Distillery! Dad and I had a 10am gin/whiskey/tequila tasting… great fun! What an excellent excuse for drinking so early in the morning! Serious buzz. Kept me warm on that windy beach!!!  Also… the prettiest little wine store I’ve ever seen… wrapped in vines and selling fabulous wines…

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Cannon Beach is particularly famous for Haystack Rock… a massive Rock set out a good half a km from the shoreline… way out at the waters edge when we went to check it out, but at some times in the year, nearly unreachable as the water surrounds it. It is a 235ft basalt rock sea stack, created by lava, claimed to be one of the tallest intertidal structures in the world that can be reached by foot at low tide, and is home to many birds such as turns and puffins, that turn the rock nearly white/brown on top, although at some times in the year the rock is covered with beautiful green mosses/grasses.

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My favourite part of the whole trip… hours and hours spent walking on the beach, building sandcastles or lighthouses with my little brother, running along the waters edge until the icy pacific ocean waters turned my toes numb and I had to walk up in the deep warm sand that gave my quads the workout of a lifetime!!

Tidepools are amazing… and between the Needles and Haystack rock are beautiful tide pools home to all sorts of brilliant sea creatures like starfish and anemones, crabs and small fish.

 

On our last morning in Cannon Beach, I had to get in a morning beach run, and spent a couple hours walking/running in the haze of sea spray and early morning fog that shrouded the beach. I ran for miles with a cluster of rocks in the distance as my goal. The haziness may have clouded my vision so that I didn’t realize it was so much further away than I thought it would be!! But it was stunningly beautiful. And there is no feeling more free than a crisp, brisk seaside stroll, listening to the waves roll in, the wind whistling in my ears sending sea gulls soaring gleefully through the air… it is so healing, so relaxing, so peaceful. I’d recommend it as a cure for any aching soul.

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The beach… the ocean… the freedom… the serenity. There really is nothing like it in the world!

I was pretty reluctant to leave Cannon Beach and carry on down the coast, because I didn’t think it could possibly get more beautiful than this! But it continues to be gorgeous… More to come!!

 

 

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