A New Kind of Coastal Adventure

Hiking down to Crescent Beach in Ecola State Park

As things heated up in Portland this weekend, I managed to escape to the coast for a day trip to relax on the beach.  Cole and I hit the road with a new friend Saturday morning and we arrived on the coast around noon.  Our first stop was at Ecola State Park where we were just one of many cars in a long line waiting to get in.  Since the parking lot at Indian Beach was full, we parked at the scenic overlook and decided to hike down to Indian Beach.  We must have taken a wrong turn and ended up going down a steep cliff to Crescent Beach instead.  My hiking sandals were not ideal for this type of hiking on a loose gravel trail but I managed to navigate my way down without too much slipping and sliding and only a couple of butt slides down.   Once down on the beach, we walked around in the cool water while Cole ran around and made friends with the other dogs on the beach.  After we had our fill of lounging around, we decided to head back up which meant a steep climb up the cliff side. Cole made it look easy and was up in no time and patiently watched and waited for us to join him at the top.  Throughout the process of climbing, I managed to get nice and muddy and eventually had to climb barefoot in order to avoid sliding out of my hiking sandals.  I learned that barefoot hiking (on appropriate surfaces) can be really great.  It felt good to physically connect more with nature by feeling the dirt between my toes.  Who knew?

My muddy leg after climbing back up

Next we attempted to head in to Cannon Beach for some food but decided we weren’t up for battling the crowds so we headed south on highway 101 to Manzanita instead.  There we found a mexican restaurant with outdoor seating to accomodate all of us, including Cole.  Cole, as usual, made lots of friends and once we were done stuffing ourselves with delicious beer, enchiladas, beans, rice and burritos, we headed to a nearby shop to pickup some salt water taffy and fudge to take with us as we continued our trip to Rockaway Beach.

Twin Rocks at Rockaway Beach

 Once in Rockaway, we stopped to pick up some cool beverages and then found the perfect spot on the beach as much out of the wind blown sand as possible.  All three of us laid around in the sand, talked and basked in the contrasting coolness of the sea air and sun.  It was a wonderful moment to share in this particular spot with this new friend who may be an important part of my future.  Rockaway Beach was the first place I spent a coastal sunset three years ago, albeit the sun was hidden behind fog and drizzle, but it was during the time of the sun setting nonetheless.  This same place is also the subject of a song that is partially tattooed on my arm, Twin Rocks, Oregon by Shawn Mullins.  It will always hold a special place in my heart. 

Twin Rocks Oregon performed by Shawn Mullins


On the drive back to Portland, we were delighted to have a nice view of the beginnings of the super moon (officially happening tonight) over the rolling green hills that line highway 26 while listening to some good and loud music.   Once home, sleep came quick as it often does after a fun adventure on the coast.  All in all, it was a wonderful trip to the coast and just one of many more beautiful Oregon adventures to come!!

Rockaway Beach

To see more of my nature photography, visit
my Flickr page here

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