Posted on August 27, 2012
The Great Outdoors: Oregon Coast, Day 4
When we started brainstorming about our trip to the Oregon Coast in the weeks before we left, J and I planned on doing and seeing many, many things. We had initially opted to drive to Portland for a day while stopping at a vineyard, but once we finally arrived on the coast, leaving it was an impossibility.
On our fourth and final full day, after a scrumptious breakfast on the dog-friendly patio at Maggie’s on the Prom in Seaside, we found ourselves back at Ecola State Park. Earlier we had discovered a trail leading to the Tillamook Head Lighthouse view point and wanted to tackle it.
The Clatsop Loop Trail, a 2.5-mile round-trip hike to the lighthouse point, is dotted with markers signifying various stops that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark made on their journey in the early 1800s. While we all successfully finished the hike (though Jordy required a little help from J), it was an uphill haul the entire way to the top.
Scenery aside, the very coolest thing about Ecola State Park is its vibrant history. The park’s name comes from the Chinook word Ekkoli, meaning whale. After paddling up the Columbia River, Lewis and Clark – accompanied by Sacagawea – discovered the park upon hearing reports of a beached whale on its shores. [source]
Coming back down was a cinch, and we opted for a narrow path with views to the ocean. Glimpsing Haystack Rock in the distance, this slice of the forest was evidence enough that Oregon has a beauty all its own.
Before we knew it we were back on the beach, and an afternoon stretched out on the sand was our reward for the morning’s hike. Refueling was our first priority.
Whenever there’s food out, you’re sure to find Jordy close by, constantly scrounging for any scrap that’s dropped. Luckily he’s got a great “mom” who always makes sure pup snacks are packed too.
After settling into our spot on the beach, I wandered north to explore the sand and the towering trees that stood watch over the shore. The park rangers limit the number of cars that can make their way to Indian Beach, so it wasn’t at all overcrowded.
I’m quite sure the near-empty beach was greatly appreciated by those who chose Indian Beach as their prime surf spot. As I watched them glide over the wave crests, I instantly decided surfing was a must on our next visit.
Feeling restless by the mid-afternoon, all three of us wandered to the south shore of Indian Beach to discover the tidal pools and local marine life. Starfish and anemone were everywhere, clinging to every rock we found.
We quickly discovered that you’ve got to watch your step in the tides at Indian Beach. This huge crab was mere inches away from crawling over J’s feet, so he carefully brought it out of the water to show the small group of curious children that had gathered.
Like every day on the Oregon Coast, by the afternoon the clouds had split open to reveal incredible sunshine and azure skies. Knowing we’d be commencing the long drive home in the morning, I dug my toes into the sand and savoured the moment while it lasted.
As we made our way down the winding drive from Ecola State Park back to Cannon Beach, the sun flitted through the trees and the wind from the open windows tossed my hair in every direction. Foster the People’s “Warrant” played loudly, solidifying the last vivid memory I’d have of the trip. The only solace I found in leaving was knowing that we’d be back again someday soon.