"... The grandest and most pleasing prospect my eyes ever surveyed."
|Spiderwebs gathered morning dew near|
where we camped in Astoria, OR.
Last Thursday, having had enough of the hustle and bustle of Vancouver, of working and eating and sleeping and repeating, we took the long weekend to go to Cannon Beach, Oregon, some 552 km and six hours of driving down south. It was the best decision I've made (as of recently). We slept the first night on a dirt road near Astoria (a difficult thing to do in the U.S., as state troopers often patrol roads and will send you packing to a campsite if they catch you). We parked on a sandy marshland/spit area, and in the morning heard the fishing boats heading out along the Columbia River estuary. Not quite sure yet what to expect of Oregon, we took a walk to the waterfront and then packed up to drive a few miles further to Cannon Beach.
We first rented surfboards when we arrived in Cannon Beach. I've surfed only once before in Tofino, and it was a challenging endevour - one I wasn't sure I'd try again. My hesitation at surfing lurked beneath my skin as I pulled on my wetsuit. And then it was off to Indian Beach in Ecola State Park - a beach surfers head to for some nice (I prayed) breaking waves.
|Top: me surfing. Middle: Ben and|
I with our boards. Bottom: Ben
at Indian Beach.
|Ecola State Park's Hiker's Camp.|
We surfed all afternoon before putting into place the next two night's sleeping arrangements. Ben and I carry with us a certain refusal to pay to camp. Such an attitude is detrimental when in the States. So, we settled for the second best: pay $15 to camp two in Ecola State Park. This meant hiking our gear up more than 800 feet in elevation and 1.25 miles to the camp. Exhausted nonetheless, we managed to make it up and spent two nights camping surrounded by a greener-than-green forest and friendly fellow campers near Tillimook Head. We carried up the tent, the food, the clothes. The site was magical; cabins, the biggest clover patches I've ever seen, and campfire shenanigans.
We spent the Friday and Saturday surfing, and Saturday night did a little exploring before heading back up to camp. We checked out the Lookout (right). Sea stacks are ever present - the ocean has, over thousands of years, eroded away any surrounding rock and what remains is this basalt section of rocks, making for a spectacular view. The rocks play homage to several different species of birds (including puffins) and seals, as well. In the state park, as a part of the trail that leads to Hiker's Camp, is the Clatsop Loop Trail, again a trail made famous by the Lewis and Clark expedition (read up on this, it's very interesting). On Saturday night we did the second part of the trail which runs along the cliffs to the camp, and the hike led us through a maze of trees unlike I've ever seen before. There was the view of the open ocean, with the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse (which closed in 1956), and the exploration of an old World War II bunker (also on the hike).
|Sitka Spruce. The right tree began growing atop a fallen tree, which |
then broke down into the earth, hence my ability to climb beneath it's roots.
|Ben skimboarding along Cannon Beach|
in front of Haystack Rock and "the Needles."