Tag Archives: Pacific Ocean

A beach hike to kick off the New Year!

Standard

Monday, 03-Jan-2022


Since New Years Eve fell on a Friday, I had Monday off work!

I know, right? Not a bad start to the New Year… And doubly-so, since the upcoming Friday was a day off too… so three day work week! Absolutely great start to the year!



Okay, enough bragging. I had Monday off.

I figured… Well, I was feeling a bit lazy, and didn’t quite want to deal with the adventure of icy / snowy roads and tire chains. So Mt. Hood was out. And if going East, into the mountains, wasn’t really feeling like a good option… why not a return visit to the beach, hmm?




Well, it turns out that one reason I could cite is the tides – a reason that I learned when I looked down from the staircase at Cannon Beach, straight into the foaming Pacific Ocean. Turns out, I’d timed it just right so that I’d arrived exactly at high tide… strangely, not something that I think I’ve ever seen at Cannon before.

I’m an intrepid adventurer though! No “high tide”, or “lack of beach”, silliness is going to stop me! I forged my way around, hiking over dunes and through the beach grass, making my way down the beach and into a singularly glorious landscape or churning waves and dispersed sunlight.


I walked for ages – I didn’t really track how far, or how long, I was wandering. I stopped in a nice copse of trees for lunch, and rested when I felt tired. I’d brought snacks, water, and warm layers… And since I’d started at high tide, I knew there wasn’t a risk of getting trapped anywhere since the only direction the surf was going was away from me.

It was lovely. Relaxing, quiet, and exactly as calm as I was hoping for on my last day before re-starting the trudge of work.


On my walk, I even found a few ocean-based treasures!

Jaw-dropping views not included, I found:
– A really cute little beach toy, washed up on shore
– A child’s bike helmet, now home to a colony of brightly colored mussels
– A huge hunk of whale blubber!


Yeah, you read that last one right. Whale blubber! It wobbled!

A few days previous, a whale carcass had washed up ashore a few miles down the coast… I hadn’t really thought about it, but that’s the best explanation I could think up for what I found. It’s big, wobbly, and tons of seagulls were feasting on it…




As the sun dipped low, I made my way back to the car and toward the drive home. Beautiful snow-covered trees kept watch as a drove, and a glorious dinner of artichoke, steak, and tortellini awaited me back home…


A beach in winter

Standard

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:

Oregon.
Is.
Beautiful.

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!




**CONTENT WARNING**

***BUG AHEAD***

****WE WENT TO RED LOBSTER ON THE DRIVE BACK****

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

A drive to Hobbits – A beach day

Standard

Saturday, 24-July-2021



I had a gloriously lazy weekend.

Had a gloriously lazy morning, too!


Around 3:00pm though, I started getting antsy and felt the need to go and get out of town. Kinda too late to do that, though, since I’d get back after midnight.

So, obviously, I jumped in the car and started driving out of town. Man, it’s a Saturday. Who cares it I get home after midnight??



My target was Hobbit Beach – I’d been there once or twice before, and the timing today was just right that I would be arriving a bit before sunset. I packed my book and some snacks, and planned on hanging out and watching / photographing the sun dipping below the horizon.

Of course, it was completely cloud-covered as I drove… but I’ve been around the block enough to know that if you don’t like the weather or conditions, then just wait 20min and it’ll change completely. Since I had a 3-hour drive ahead of me, I wasn’t particularly concerned about the weather – there’s no way it would be remotely similar once I arrived, so the best thing to do was just put the top down on the car, crank some music, and charge ahead toward the Pacific.


I was right, of course.



As I got closer and closer to the coast, the clouds thickened and the temperature dropped. It got darker, colder, and windier. I started considering ways to keep my dumb tee-shirt clad self warm; ways including wrapping my emergency blanket around me like a kilt, or using the self-heating ration pack in my trunk as a body warmer.

I mean, I could have stopped at a store for a sweater, or I could have given up, but… come on now. You know me better than that, right?



By the time I got to the trailhead, I’d already seen a massive shift in the conditions. It was warmer, the clouds had split to let the sun through, and any traces of traffic had been left far behind.

Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t actually warm yet… it was warmer, but still conditions where I debated lugging along the nice fleece blanket that I keep in the trunk.

I didn’t, though, and instead kept my warm hat on my head and promised myself I’d move quickly. Holding to that promise found me on the beach lickity-split, gazing in wonder at the clouds scraping over the coastal peaks to catch the red light of the sunset.



The wind was intense, and I was definitely not a particularly cozy camper… but thankfully I ran into a bit of luck, meeting a family who were quite cozy around their beach campfire. I don’t know the exact legalese for having a bonfire on the coast, but I’ll fully admit to being quite happy when they welcomed me to their fire circle and chatted with me as I warmed up my hands and toes (since I was barefoot, as I’m pretty confident that it is illegal to wear shoes on the beach).


I explored, took photos, debated re-warming myself by the fire, decided against it, and then headed back to the car after the sun had dipped down and I couldn’t quite feel my fingers anymore.



It was an excellent escape from town… and I even made it back home within 30min of midnight, if I recall correctly. I’ll take it all as an absolute win.