Bill and I recently returned from a few days at one of the most beautiful sandy beaches on the west coast – Cannon Beach in Oregon. I’ve been coming to this charming little town since 1998 when a close friend recommended the town to me. Her family has a summer cabin here (built in the 1940’s by her father) – and we have managed to take several short vacations here since my son was 4 years old. I’ve watched the town change from a quiet, low-key, family oriented town to a high-end, expensive destination with many absurdly-priced accommodations. But, just a few blocks away from the main street (Hemlock) you will find old, weathered treasures – houses built around the time of my friends’ family vacation home – and rented in the off-season for very reasonable prices. These are the types of places we stay in while visiting.
While we spend most of our time on the beach, we always take at least half a day to walk through the surrounding forest and Cannon Beach’s interesting Nature Walk Trail, which ends at Ecola Creek Park. I never pass up an opportunity to spend time in a forest, even when filled with the “fragrance” of western Skunk Cabbage (Lysichiton americanus), especially pungent when blended with blooming Salix, Sambucus, and the fiddleheads of Polystichum.
The following are just a few examples of the beauty of this area. If you haven’t visited Cannon Beach, don’t be put-off by the expense and “must-see destination” ambience of the town. Instead, search out the old, weathered, authentic treasures this place has to offer – you will be amazed at its beauty. (And, as always, many pictures are taken while on-the-move so they may be a little blurry. I appreciate your patience with my lack of photography skills!)
Our drive home runs through small towns in the southwest region of Washington – South Bend, Raymond, Pe Ell, and other tiny settlements. As always, a stop at our favorite café in South Bend is a must.
This shot embodies all that Cannon Beach means to me and my family. A visit to this lovely town – any time of year – will become a favorite travel memory.
Here’s to good weather, fun hiking, and great coffee to fuel the road!