Tag Archives: Beach

A beach in winter


Tuesday, 28-Dec-2021

My friend Mike came to visit!

It’s been a while since I’ve seen him – Back over spring break, if I’m remembering correctly, and I was super psyched to hear that he’d have some free time over Christmas to come up to Oregon and visit. I came up with tons of plans – keeping in mind that weather would be a pretty major contributing factor to what trouble we got into.

Without giving a full blow-by-blow of the adventure, I’ll fill you in on a snapshot of the conditions we found ourselves in: The world was burning down (or rampantly infected, more accurately) with the Omicron variant of COVID. Mt. Hood was getting belted with a full-power winter snowstorm. The roads between Mike and I were similarly under a snowy assault. And, to top it all off, both of us were pretty well burned out from the rest of the adventures of the year.

So what do you do when the whole world seems a little bit crazy?

Go to the beach! Duh.

“But Ben! Those are pictures of snow! That’s not the beach!”

“Right you are, other Ben! For you see… Mt. Hood and Mt. Shasta weren’t the only places getting pummeled with persistent precipitation! The roads to the beach were also under snow!”

But hey. We’re two New England boys, in Mike’s car with brand new snow tires. We got to the beach without any difficulty or fuss.

Once at the beach, we grabbed some lunch at a local Brewery before walking said lunch off exploring the coastline.

Have I mentioned that Oregon is beautiful?

Let me reiterate that fact:


The walk was perfect – for me, at least, but I’m pretty confident that it was exactly what both of us needed. Low-Key, relaxed conversation. With a gorgeous background.

And no – I’m not going to transcribe everything we talked about. Because that would be crazy. And, while I’m absolutely crazy, I’m thankfully not that kind of crazy.

Though… Maybe someday we’ll start a podcast or something. Pretty sure our crazy would sell pretty well. Maybe.

For now – Enjoy a few interesting signs that we saw before the final installment on the day’s adventure!




(I didn’t even know we had Red Lobster, to be honest. Many thanks to Mike for introducing me to Maine Lobsters in Oregon!)

Exploring Oswald West state park – 12-Sept-2020


Saturday, 12-Sept-2020


Oregon is still burning.

It hasn’t let up much, and Wilsonville’s air quality has been holding pretty steady at “hazardous”, recommending that we wear at least respirators, if not full SCBA face shields.

That… makes trips pretty challenging.


But, you know what?  Challenging isn’t impossible.  I have the internet, which has basically any piece of information that I could ever want.  And I have a phone, which let’s me chat with people, and plan adventures.

Marcella and I decided to head to Oswald West – it’s a beach on the Oregon Coast, not too long of a drive, and it looked like the air quality would just be “bad”, instead of in the dangerous ranges.  Coastal breezes, fog, and light rain would hopefully keep the particulate count down, and make the air a bit more breathable.


If you’ve never seen Oregon forests through the fog – you’re missing out, and you’ll enjoy the pictures I was able to get.  It’s magical; the forests already have a primordial feel to them, and when you add in a thick fog, with just a hint of smoke, it becomes steeped in some sort of mystic haze.

It’s gorgeous.

The hike into the beach was beautiful, and over nearly before it even began.  Thankfully, it looked like we were some of the only people to come up with this trip plan, and so the trail and beach were almost empty.  There were some surfers, a few beach combers, and maybe half a dozen people walking their dogs… but thanks to the thick fog and rolling surf, it felt like the entire world was completely empty.



After coming back to the world, hunger set in.  Turns out the empty world of the beach tied into an empty stomach, which led us to the town of Cannon Beach… where we not only met some cowboys (on horses, even), but found ourselves in the Pelican Brewery, eating amazing burgers.

A good day.  A very good day.

Exploring Fort Stevens and Astoria… IN OREGON YO! This is my new JAM! – Day 2

Exploring Fort Stevens and Astoria… IN OREGON YO!  This is my new JAM!  – Day 2

Thursday, 18-June-2015

You know what I dislike? Sleeping pads. Every time I get a new one, a new one that “won’t instantly pop!” and “Is actually for backpacking!” and “Ohh Ben, we wouldn’t lie to you again!”…

It gets a leak.

It leaks air as the night goes on.

I wake up early because I’m now sleeping on the cold and unpleasant ground Damnit I spent $75 on this stupid thing wtf arg!!!

Anyways. I woke up early.

Since we’re near a city, and because why not, we head in to grab breakfast somewhere. I honestly don’t remember where, but it was good… nothing exceptional, but definitely good food. Energizing enough to keep me happy.

And energizing enough to get us moving toward the shore – to see the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald!

Not really. The wreck of the Peter Iredale, however, is right nearby. And from what we’d read, it was a pretty famous wreck – the hull of an old iron ship that ran ashore during a particularly bad storm.

In actuality, it’s a few iron spars sticking out of a beach.

But whatever. It was an excuse for us to walk around on the beach, enjoying the salt spray and the wind and the cool air and… well, really everything. It was pleasant, and I enjoyed it. And we didn’t go a short way either – we must have walked four or five miles total in that one section – down the beach, then inland and back toward the car.

Honestly, the inland section was kind of suck, but the beach had been excellent enough to keep us happy and contented as we forced our way through scrub grass along a tiny little horse trail. Literally a horse trail – we may have read that one sign wrong. Thankfully Liz was up front, and she had a good eye as far as watching out for… ahh… “horse-deployed landmines”.

The car then takes us to Coffenbury Lake, where our hands bring cheese and crackers and apples into our faces. And then our legs took us around the take itself – a supremely picturesque loop that reminded me a lot of Jurassic World… which kind of worried me for the first few minutes. Then I remembered that the West Coast doesn’t have velociraptors, and I felt a lot better.

The lake tuckered us all out a bit, so we stayed low key the rest of the day. I mean… it wasn’t a long walk, but it was kinda toasty, you know? We checked out an observation post that looked out over the ocean, watched some birds, and climbed over an old test-range bunker. Or… I climbed over it, while Mike and Liz snuck off to make out somewhere. Hey, at least they’re polite about it.

And then? Well… I mean, it IS Astoria. And there ARE a lot of breweries…

  • We hit three brew pubs this time:
    • Fort George Brewing – Mike and I get flights of 8 drinks each (in a double-shot glass), and we all share a plate of nachos. The food is excellent, but the beer is doubly-so. The bartender is pretty excellent too, so we have a really good time.
    • Astoria Brewing Company – Just beer here, but we all share a big flight, and enjoy the extremely chatty bartender, who is awesome. Seriously; we talk about everything, and I learn a ton about the area and what Oregon is going through and what it’s like. Turns out? Sea Lions are a problem in Astoria right now. They’re eating all the fish, as they migrate out of their normal territories.
    • Wet Dog Brewing – We get another full flight here, and split it among the group. Order up some more oysters, and some cheese fondue – it’s awesome, and we devour everything. I should note: the oysters here are different than those I’ve had in Boston. They’re served off the shell, firstly. And they’ve got a meatier texture to them than the ones I’ve had before. Bostonian oysters are sort of consistently slimey, and they go down smoothly with a salted taste. But Oregonian ones have a denser meat to them, and aren’t nearly as salty. I think this is (for Willapa Oysters, at least) because they’re farmed off the sea floor, at a junction between salt water and fresh water. Not sure though.

After finishing up at Wet Dog, we tried to find ourselves some good shellfish to make up for dinner – specifically scallops… since for some reason both Mike and I had been freaking ravenously craving scallops. Probably because he made some over the weekend, and they had been delicious.

But alas! It was not meant to be, because the seafood section of the grocery was closed. So we got firewood and some chicken instead, and made the best of it back at camp. Big fires, good food, good drink, and pleasant company. Good times.