Cannon The Beach

Visit Date: June 26, 2020

Coming up on our anniversary we tried to think what we could do that would be safe but different from our usual routine. We settled on a quick trip to the Cannon Beach. We figured we’d be safe because we would be outside, it would be breezy – it’s always windy at the coast – and it would be easy to socially distance ourselves. We brought our own picnic lunch to provide ourselves another level of safety.

Way back in the day when our oldest son was beginning to talk he used the Romantic and Germanic grammar of using the article “the” – though it doesn’t denote gender – when naming things. So places would be Mountain The Hood instead of Mount Hood, Incredible The Hulk, – and of course Cannon The Beach. It’s one of those things we just say now.

We left home at 9:00AM in order to beat the expected crowds – everyone is getting cabin fever. Traffic was a breeze and we pulled into Tolvanna – the southernmost part of Cannon Beach – a bit before 10:30.

Cannon Beach? Then we need the obligatory picture of Haystack Rock.

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach

Haystack Rock is part of a series of rocks. When you look back inland you can see it is part of a hill that jutted out into the ocean. Most of it has washed away.

Sentinels to Haystack Rock

Way off in the distance we could see the decommissioned Tillamook Light.

Tillamook Light near Seaside, Oregon

You can see from the top picture that it was low tide so folks were looking through the tide pools at the rock’s base. There wasn’t a lot of life to see – other than the birds – but there were a couple of things. I was glad I brought my circular polarizer filter for my camera so I could remove the normal glare of the water. This sea anemone is actually completely submerged in water.

Sea Anemone thriving in a tide pool at the base of Haystack Rock

We also saw a starfish – though he isn’t the shape of a star anymore. This dude has seen some things – s/he’s lost 40% of its appendages but is till living.

Three legged Star Fish

Whether the tide pools are accessible or not, there are always birds – so many birds.

Birds at Haystack Rock
Bird grooming itself on Haystack Rock

After walking a couple of miles up the coast, we turned around and headed back to get our picnic supplies. Carla enjoys walking through the puddles the receding tide leaves. The water is a lot warmer after sitting in the sun.

Carla in her happy place.

We grabbed our sand chairs and picnic lunch from the car and headed back to the beach. This bird ambled over and asked for a handout. Looks like s/he’s old and ruffled. Regardless, it’s in better shape than that star fish.

Old, ruffled bird at Cannon Beach, Oregon

After enjoying our lunch and reading a bit, it was time to head back home. Wow! The parking lot was completely full and cars were going up and down the aisles waiting for someone to leave. A woman asked if we were leaving; I told her “Yes, but it will take us a few minutes because we have to get all this sand off us.” She waited until we left.

We were amazed by the amount of traffic headed from Portland to the coast. (In Oregon we call it the “coast” not the “beach” like we did in California.) The traffic was bumper-to-bumper for at least 20 miles. We congratulated ourselves on getting up and going early.

Cannon Beach was the farthest we have been away from home since February. It was so nice to get out to see something different.

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