For most of the day, Ellie, Morgen and I spent time hiking, walking on the beach and generally appreciating the Pacific coast. We left this morning headed for Ecola State Park and Indian Beach. Driving through farms, mountains and eventually rocky coast we arrived at the park, paid our $3 for entry and made our way down to the beach. In the morning there were mostly surfers out, braving the freezing Pacific waters. We got rained on for a little bit but we each dipped our fingers into the ocean.
Then we embarked out what turned out to be a serious hike. We took the Clatsop Trail that is a 2.6 mile loop, leaving from and returning to Indian Beach. Hiking past Indian Point but not quite as far as Tillamook Head, we traversed the wide but steep trail for more than an hour. Finally we reached the apex of our loop and trekked out to a viewpoint to gaze upon the Pacific and the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse resting far out into the ocean. Our descent was considerably easier on our legs, though the trail was quite narrow and we were constantly pushing branches and shrubbery out of our way. Morgen and Ellie found dozens of salmonberry bushes and partook liberally of the fruit.
After our multiple-hour hike we drove out to Ecola Point at the southern end of the park. From there we could look back north toward Indian Beach and the hills we’d just climbed. To the south we had a nice view of Crescent Beach and off in the distance we could see Haystack Rock and Cannon Beach.
We drove the few miles back out of the park and into the town of Cannon Beach. We parked the Fusion and made our way to the actual beach of Cannon Beach. While it clearly is a tourist-driven place, the beach was fantastic and not too crowded, especially for a weekend in the summer. We spent almost two hours walking down the beach toward the behemoth that is Haystack Rock. Morgen and Ellie waded in the water while I kept to the harder sand. With the sun shining, the breeze blowing in off the water and the temperatures hovering below 65, it could not have been a better time. After reaching the enormous rock formation we turned back and headed for the town. We enjoyed a nice lunch at Sweet Basil’s Cafe off of W. Washington Street and N. Hemlock Street before driving back toward Portland.
While we’re all exhausted after so much walking and talking, it was a great day with beautiful weather. And now we know that the beach is just ninety minutes away.