The first nice weekend during my summer in Portland and I was already headed to the beach with my brother. Cannon Beach, for those that don’t know, is about 2 hours from the city (including traffic) and is home to a famous seaside of haystacks.
We arrived mid-morning Saturday to scope the scene and see where we’d want to camp that evening. We stopped at a local surf shop to price board rentals and ask a few questions of the locals: where can we camp overnight on the beach, where’s the best surf spot, and what are we forgetting? We walked down to Cannon Beach to take pictures with our true SLR cameras and feel just how cold the water was. Oh man. It was freezing. But beautiful and I was so happy to have my toes in the sand again.
Next, we headed toward Ecola State Park. But there was a queue of cars waiting to get down to Indian Beach (the next best spot to be seaside) so we passed on through to another spot, Tilamook Head. From there, you can enjoy more amazing views of Cannon Beach. From those view points you can hike 1 1/2 miles to Indian Beach. Which we did. In sandals.
This is where the fun starts. We wore sandals in the muddiest hike of my life. We trekked up and down beautiful trails to the clifftops and slid down to the beach. The squish beneath our feet kept me giggling and at one point, my brother had to remove his shoes to pass difficult areas. We were a muddy mess. The photo above is from one of the stops we made along the way. You can see all the way down the cliff’s edge to amazing rock face and enjoy the waves crashing on the coast.
Once we arrived at Indian Beach, we snapped some more shots and washed our muddy feet in the water. We hitchhiked (there was no way I was muddying through the trails again) to our parking spot and went into town for brews. At this point, we hadn’t picked a spot to camp and the bartender told us it is illegal on most beaches there. We didn’t bring a tent either. We were keen to just sleep on pads and sleeping bags overnight. I wasn’t so much afraid of the tide as I was nervous about the authorities patrolling the sands. At this point, I began to think of Plan B.
Plan B was devised when we came back from another venture toward the beach to skim board and soak in the last rays of the day. I figured we would find more grub, visit the local kite shop and bookstore (I can’t help but stop at bookstores) and begin to scope the locals at the bar who may be willing to share their floor with us for the evening. After dinner, we headed to Castaways Tiki Bar. This is where we met a couple originally from Atlanta and I turned on my Southern accent in hopes of winning their hearts. Worked like a charm. I don’t mean for this to sound like we conned them into giving us a place to stay but our sad story of how we planned on camping on the sand was enough for them to kindly offer their two twin beds in their beautiful beach house for the evening. And we got along great. Minus the fact that my brother and I wore Adidas gear and they worked for Nike.
We spent a nice evening getting to know the local scene with them and left early the next morning without leaving too much of a trace. We rented a surfboard from the local surf shop and headed to the north end of Cannon Beach, where the locals surf. We enjoyed many more amazing views. It was a great opportunity to get up close a personal with the haystacks and rock face.
We headed back to Portland mid-afternoon and I was on top of the world. That beach, the town, the water, and a fun adventure with my brother all had me sitting on Cloud 9. Normally, I would take this as a lesson to plan my accommodations in advance but I wouldn’t want to miss out on meeting more cool people who’s southern hospitality took us on a fun adventure of the Oregon Coast.