Posted on August 13, 2013
Summer Vacation: Oregon Coast
Though none of us wants to admit it, summer is slowly dwindling its way into fall. That telltale crispness has already made its way into early mornings, and turning leaves aren’t far behind. Before August gives way to September, I wanted to take a look back on the one and only camping trip that J and I made this summer.
After a long, long drive (we crawled past Seattle for three hours), we finally made it to the Oregon Coast on a Friday evening.
We were lucky enough to get one of the last available campsites at Fort Stevens State Park. Hugging Coffenbury Lake and a short distance from Sunset Beach, the campsite was a great spot to pitch a tent, flip some flapjacks and start each day.
One of my favourite places on the northern Oregon Coast is the town of Seaside. It’s nothing short of a picture-perfect snapshot from a movie, complete with ice cream cones, arcades, a boardwalk, carousel, saltwater taffy candy, pizza parlours and sky-high kites all perched on a sandy shore.
We were really fortunate and had amazingly warm weather for nearly our entire visit with sunshine and blue skies stretched out above us. While J and I had planned to enjoy some hiking, exploring and maybe even some surfing, it seemed impossible to not just stretch out on the beach and relax the entire time.
Even still, I’m blown away by (and grateful for) how dog-friendly the community of Cannon Beach is. Dogs of all shapes and sizes galloped up and down the sand, playing frisbee or splashing in the waves. Instead of causing the so-called problems one might expect with off-leash dogs, being given this privilege encourages dog owners such as us to handle and care for our dog responsibly in public. It’s a two-way street, one I hope that Vancouver might consider driving down someday.
A word to the wise: if you find yourself at the beach with a sackful of snacks, including a large bag of kettle corn, it would be best to not leave it unattended. At one point we took Jordy for a stroll to Haystack Rock and returned to our beach umbrella to find a flock of more than a dozen seagulls ripping apart our kettle corn. Sad for me, tasty for them.
Absolutely no trip to the region would feel complete without a sunset beach fire on the aptly-named Sunset Beach. On our visit last year, we were thrilled to find out that, not only are beach fires permitted, driving on the beach is totally kosher. Luckily we’ve got a truck with four-wheel drive, so it was no problem hauling some firewood, our beach chairs and a bottle of wine from the Willamette Valley down the quick road from our campsite.
At night, Sunset Beach is mostly quiet, save for a few others with the same idea. I wasted no time in rolling up my jeans and running for the water to dip my toes into the Pacific Ocean as the sun began to sink.
Much like last year, we continued our tradition of the beach fire, s’mores and a spinning of Coldplay’s Parachutes, and in particular, “Yellow.” In Oregon, it really does feel like the stars are shining for us.
While the travel experience under my belt is somewhat limited, I’ve been fortunate enough to visit a few inspiring and beautiful places. However, nowhere I’ve been is quite like the Oregon Coast. It’s my true “happy place,” it’s warmly inviting and visiting always makes me feel like I’m coming home when I arrive there.
Leaving is always the hardest part, but I’d be lying if I said I haven’t already started planning our summer 2014 trip to the Oregon Coast!