Posted on August 13, 2012
The Great Outdoors: Oregon Coast, Day 2
The second day of our great American adventure started with a morning trip to a great American beach. Picturesque in every quintessential Americana way you can imagine, the town of Seaside did not disappoint. Think carousels, bumper cars, salt water taffy, ice cream cones and swing sets on the sand.
However, we couldn’t start our day without some piping hot coffee. We stopped in at the aptly-named Coffee Shop at Seaside to grab two strong brews and made our way to the shore. J was no doubt ecstatic over his java jolt!
As I’d previously mentioned, on our camping trip at Birkenhead Lake the weekend before, for some reason Jordy thought it would be a great idea to eat a lot of sand when no one was looking. I’m grateful that it never escalated to something serious like surgery, and Jordy was lucky that he managed to get all the sand up and/or out on his own. Though, that meant that J and I were up all night with a puking pooch. In our tent. Until dawn.
Needless to say, we were pretty cautious about letting him down on the sand in Oregon. It would seem that Jordy learned his lesson because thankfully he never did partake in sand noshing while on our coast trip.
Next stop? Cannon Beach! Famous for its iconic Haystack Rock that splits its shoreline in half, the town of Cannon Beach has been famously featured in films and on postcards for decades. By the time we arrived, the beach was already packed with dune buggies, little kids with pails and shovels, big kids with kites and even a handful of surfers.
We quickly realized that the weather in Cannon Beach – and on the entire Oregon Coast – was not unlike Tofino and Uclulet. Cloudy, overcast mornings usually gave way to warm sun and clear, blue skies by lunchtime. It made for perfect beach-combing weather while getting in some amazing photo opportunities.
Finally trustworthy of play time on the beach, Jordy was as happy as a clam to enjoy some sun and surf of his own. Much like the rest of the town of Cannon Beach, the beach itself was incredibly dog-friendly. In fact, not just dog-friendly but dog-welcoming. Cannon Beach really could teach Vancouver a thing or two about what it means to be a truly dog-friendly community (but that’s a whole other blog post).
After a stroll up and down Cannon Beach’s main drag, J and I decided that we needed to complete our afternoon with a stop for ice cream cones. While it wasn’t Island Farms, it was homemade and certainly nothing to be messed with.
Ice cream cones demolished, we wanted to check out neighbouring Ecola State Park before heading back to our campsite for the night. I’m a bit of a movie buff, particularly movies from the ’80s and ’90s, and it so happens that a few of my favourite films from those decades had scenes shot at Ecola State Park. Not only was it the home of the Fratellis’ hideout in The Goonies, but the Park also served as the carnival grounds in Kindergarten Cop.
Offering a number of viewpoints, trails and hidden spots to explore, I quickly fell in love with Ecola State Park. More than just favoured by Hollywood, Ecola State Park is steeped in history, more of which I’ll touch on during my Day 4 post.
The views were gorgeous, but I was eager to get to Indian Beach within the park. As we made our way back to the truck, we noticed that a small crowd had gathered at the edge of the parking lot. As it turned out, a family of elk had emerged from the forest to say hello! (Click the pics to see larger versions.)
A short drive down a paved road, Indian Beach limits vehicle access – and for good reason. This stretch of sand was both secluded and stunning. The movie nerd in me was blown away to be standing in the very spot where Point Break reached its climax between Johnny Utah and Bodhi. Though viewers were expected to believe the film ended in Australia, Indian Beach actually stood in for Bells Beach. In fact, if you re-watch that scene, you’ll see that it features North American topography at its finest and that the coastline is not at all Aussie.
We made our way back to the campsite for dinner, but neither J or I were ready to call it a night. Instead we loaded the truck up with firewood, wine and all the ingredients for s’mores before making our way back to Fort Stevens State Park. Why have a campfire at your campsite when you can have a campfire on the beach while watching the sun as it sets over the Pacific Ocean? Because in Oregon, you can.
Fire crackling, wine in hand and feet up, that evening was the kind of contentment I won’t soon forget. And as the stars started to twinkle overhead, J opened the truck doors and played Coldplay’s Parachutes record. I will never again hear “Yellow” in the same way.
Everyday life is far from perfect. Though there are those quiet times when you aren’t looking for anything at all, and a moment shows up that really is perfect. And I truly believe that when you find those moments, they last forever.
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