Tag Archives: Seaside

Seashells by the Seashore

On Saturday we got up early-ish and packed up the car for a day trip and headed to the Coast! We timed it perfectly and Logan had his morning nap in the car. Seaside is 90 minutes or so from Portland and it’s a pretty drive. It’s one we haven’t done in a long time. Too long.

First stop: hike. We did the Tillamook Head hike just south of Seaside. It was a little weird, we drove through a residential area and then there was a new gated community of condos and just across the street from that (at a dead end street) there was the trailhead and parking lot.

Sadly, we did not bring Bella on this day trip. I debated back and forth on it. We almost always take her on these adventures and hikes and she LOVES the beach!!!! But we planned on going out to lunch and knew we couldn’t leave her in the car while we did that, so we left her home. 🙁 I felt really guilty about it, too, but honestly it was the best move because this hike turned out to be a bit harder and not really dog/kid-friendly than we were expecting.

It was an uphill climb right from the start. It wasn’t particularly hard, per se, but it was deceptively steep. We climbed 800 feet up–which doesn’t sound like much, really, but it was especially considering that 800 feet elevation gain was in the first mile and a half. Also, the trail was really slippery. The hike is in an old growth forest with giant trees and ferns and lush greenery. It clearly rarely sees the sun and so it never dries out. It wasn’t muddy but the trail was SLIPPERY. There were lots of rocks and tree roots that were covered in invisible slime! We both slipped and almost fell a few times.

We could sort of hear the ocean off in the distance, but it wasn’t really that close and there were only small glimpses of a view.

It was a really cool trail and very peaceful and quiet. Not a lot of people on it, but we did pass a few. It was also really humid! We were very sweaty by the end of this.

We got to a part of the trail that just ended. It’s hard to see from the photo below but it’s just a drop off.

On the other side of the drop-off, there was this wall that we’d have to climb up. We decided it was a good time to turn around. I was a little worried about the descent because of how slippery the trail was, and I knew that we were going to want to turn around soon anyways to stay on a schedule for lunch and naps, etc. It turned out to be the right move. So we turned around and hiked back down the trail.

There were some “steps” on the trail that were helpful and some of the roots kind of made “stairs”, too. Michael was struggling with the baby backpack on this hike (another good reason to turn around early). We both had to look down the whole hike to watch our footing, so it was kind of a neck strain.

We got back down the trail and changed clothes, changed Logan, and packed everything up. This is the condo community right at the trailhead:

We hiked 3.5 miles in almost 90 minutes. The calorie burn was great!

For lunch we went to the Firehouse Grill in Seaside. It was a cute cafe with decent reviews online. We got there just after the lunch rush, so we got a table right away and service was pretty good. I fed Logan and he was pretty content to watching everything that was going on in the restaurant. Then our food arrived. I was famished.

I got the clam/mussel chowder and a crab cake appetizer. The chowder was pretty good, not the best, but ok. The crab cake was great! And it was topped with fresh crab meat. Logan LOVED the crab! He devoured it.

Logan had a few bites of the chowder but wasn’t really a fan. But he ate so much of the crab and crab cake. He loved it!

Michael got a burger and fries and shared some of his fries with Logan, who was sort of interested but would immediately spit out the fries to eat the crab when I offered it to him. Haha!

Next stop: THE BEACH!

It was the first time Logan has ever been to the beach, or seen sand! We had no idea how it was going to go. It had the potential to be awful but we got lucky. Logan loved it! He immediately wanted down and wanted to run on the sand. He squatted down to pick up shells and tried to eat some of them (of course!) and then he got distracted by everything else.

The bucket and shovel I got for $1.50 a few weeks ago was the best money ever spent:

He loved that bucket. I posted some videos on my Instagram if you want to check it out. 🙂

It was such a fabulous day. So perfect. Logan loved the beach. He loved running on the sand and didn’t struggle walking in the sand like we thought he would. He had a great time and it was so fun to watch him experience the beach for the first time. We will definitely be back. Soon, I hope.

It was a little after 3pm at this point and Little Man was getting tired. He threw a bit of a tantrum when it was time to go. He didn’t want to leave the beach! But we had to drive back to Portland. Logan fell asleep in the car immediately and we had an easy drive home. Home for a bath to get the sand off the little man, dinner, then bedtime. And Michael and I got to enjoy some dinner, a beer and House of Cards. 🙂

 

To The Beach!

After the disappointing lack of snow in Bend, we came back to Portland where it was a mixture of sunny and decent (but cold) and then alternating rainy days. I saw in the forecast SUNSHINE and 60 degree weather! I am so ready for spring! When I saw how nice the weather was going to be I suggested we plan a hike/day trip to the beach. Oddly enough, the weather was going to be a little warmer at the beach over the weekend (which is usually the opposite–Portland is usually warmer).

Sunday morning we woke up early and packed the car for the day and set out towards Cannon Beach to do some hiking. We parked at Oswald West State Park and were lucky to get a parking spot. Seemed everyone else on the planet had the same plan as we did and lots of the hiking trailheads were filling up.

IMG_2936

We followed the “Short Sand Beach Trail” from the parking lot and it walked alongside a roaring river where we came to several forks in the road. Michael looked at me and I just shrugged. We randomly picked a direction to walk and went up the trail where we came to a suspension bridge! Thankfully it wasn’t super high up (I’m afraid of heights) but it was still scary. And Bella was completely freaked out. She was refusing to cross the bridge and was walking backwards. I went first to see if she’d follow. The bridge was kinda scary and there were some loose boards (um, that seems safe right?) and it bounced up and down when two people were walking across it.

IMG_2942

IMG_2944

Somehow Bella conquered her fear and made it across the bridge. 😉 We walked down a fork in the trail to the beach where we had our picnic lunches. Even though we’d just started our hike, we had to eat or it would throw off dinner. It was around noon at this time I think. I got to practice with my new telephoto lens that Michael got me for my birthday!

IMG_2946

IMG_2948

IMG_2949

Pretty nice, huh? I need to practice with it. We were really far away when I took these pictures. The zoom is incredible! The day was warming up but there was still some mist at the beach. This little beach was a really popular one. I don’t think I’ve ever been to it but there TONS of people and a lot of surfers, too. Everyone seemed to be carrying a surfboard on the trail to the beach.

IMG_2952

After lunch we walked back up to the main trail and took the Old Growth Forest Loop trail that turned into Elk Flat Trail. The book I have is pretty old and doesn’t have great detail about a lot of the hikes we’ve found just going out on our own. Like this one, the Neahkahnie Mountain hike is the one we picked and got at the Oswald West trailhead except there seemed to be about half a dozen or more other trails all connecting. We just randomly picked Elk Flat and that’s what we did.

It was a pretty steep climb almost immediately. The trail was narrow and wound through the trees.

IMG_2987

IMG_2974

We tromped through old growth forest, surrounded by giant sitka trees, pine trees, evergreens and so much green everywhere! There were also a bunch of giant trees that had grown out of the sides of hills like this one:

IMG_2965

It kind of reminded me of when I went to the Redwood Forest as a kid.

The ground was soft with some bounce–almost trampoline-like, covered in pinecones, pine needles, leaves and centuries of compost from the damp forest. It’s nice walking on soft ground like that. Also, the mud wasn’t too bad because there were so many tree roots that had formed stairs through the forest as we climbed up.

IMG_6707

The trail leveled off at the top and we were both sweating buckets. We stopped to rest and have some water, give Bella some water, and take off some of our layers. We were both really warm! It turned out to be a gorgeous day, despite the dense fog and cool air in the morning. We continued on the trail and it started to wind through an area of the forest that was less dense with trees and bushes. It was kind of spooky how slender and sparse the trees were after so much old growth.

IMG_6703

We got to what seemed like the end of the trail. It just kind of stopped–and I wasn’t willing to explore without a trail. Besides, we’d been hiking for over an hour and a half by this time. We turned around and came across a couple with two dogs off leash–who thankfully put them both on a leash while they passed us (I thanked them for that). It was so nice! The trail was uphill for a bit and then it was mostly downhill in mud and those root-stairs.

IMG_3006

I was glad my knees did ok on that really steep downgrade. We got back down to the main trail, crossed the suspension bridge again (Bella did ok but was still scared). We got back to the car, covered in mud, but feeling pretty good! We ended up hiking 3.14 miles in just under 2 hours. I burned 658 calories on the hike.

IMG_6713

Michael pulled over at a viewpoint so I could take some more pictures with my new lens. Then we headed to Cannon Beach to do some beach walking. I love the beach and it’s even better in the sunshine. There’s just something restorative about old forests, the ocean and sunshine for me. I really do need this time to reconnect with nature after spending so much of my time in a cubicle, or a gym, or at home. I need that disconnect time.

IMG_3060

IMG_3102

Cannon Beach is a tourist trap. It’s a sleepy little beach town with typical beach-tourist shops and restaurants. Cannon Beach itself is actually pretty short and it’s always really crowded in the summertime so it’s not one I generally go to often. I much prefer going to Rockaway where you could walk for miles and miles and it’s never that crowded. That’s where we always went for summer vacations when I was a kid. But yesterday it was just perfect.

IMG_3017

IMG_3104

IMG_6715

Cannon Beach was packed! Everyone else in Portland had the same idea we did. Bella was SUPER STOKED to be at the beach! There was so much going on and so many other dogs. She met lots of dogs and made friends, was scared by one that barked at her (a giant husky fluff-ball thing) and then met a 2 month old German Shephard puppy:

IMG_3099

IMG_3036

Bella did her usual: rolling around in the sand, exfoliating. (I did post some videos on Instagram if you want to see.) She was one filthy puppy between the muddy hike and the sandy beach. She made sure she got sand in every inch of her body. I love this picture of her:

IMG_3044

To me it says: “MOM, I LOVE THE BEACH! And the sunshine! Let’s stay here forever!” I’m not sure how many miles we walked the beach but it was for about an hour or so. It was so warm I took of my long-sleeved shirt. It’s shocking how warm it was at the beach in Oregon in January. That’s just nuts.

IMG_3045

We finally said goodbye to Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock and went in search of food.

IMG_3096

IMG_3067

Dinner time! Well, early dinner. I was FAMISHED. My lunch was NOT enough calories for the strenuous hike we did and then walking on the beach. So we ended up eating dinner around 4:30.  We actually ate dinner in Seaside, about a 15 minute drive north of Cannon Beach. We found a pub, U Street Pub, on the south side of town that wasn’t too crowded and had decent reviews online.

IMG_6720
All I wanted was clam chowder. I’d been craving it for about a week and as usual, the line for Mo’s was way too long. I was glad we went here because the chowder was fantastic! Perfect consistency, creamy with tiny chunks of celery and potatoes (I hate it when the chunks are too large), and a generous amount of bacon in the chowder. It came with two small slices of toast. Michael got the pastrami sandwich and an order of mozzarella sticks. I had 2 mozzarella sticks and called that my limit. The bar had a decent beer list but I stuck with diet coke. We had a lovely dinner and then I stopped in a souvenir shop to get a postcard for my grandma and we headed home.

The drive home was slow going. There was a lot of traffic (all the other people who wanted to play in the sun like we did) heading back to Portland. The night grew dark and the dense fog returned but we made it home safely and Little Miss got a quick bath (she is so good at this routine now, every time we go for a hike she immediately runs into the bathroom and hops into the tub!) and then I sorted through photos before calling it an early night. I think all three of us were beyond exhausted after our day adventure!