After our stay in Portland and brief jaunt through the mountains (more on that later) we found ourselves in the sleepy little beach town of Cannon Beach, Oregon. A brief stroll down the wide, sandy beach revealed rows of shingled houses peeping out of the green hillside. Grey shingled houses automatically remind me of time living on cape cod – that perfect slightly weathered seaside feel. But Cannon Beach is less of the in your face tourism of the east coast with the more rugged coastal feel of the West. Exhibit A being Haysrack rock and needle point rocks looming out of the ocean, nesting between patches of fog. You won’t find this in the east! We happily settled into Grey Whale Inn, our home for the next two days. Placed a short drive from the more touristy and hectic downtown Cannon Beach, the Grey Whale Inn occupies one of the town’s first blocks. It’s set up as a series of small flats or bungalows, all in a little row along Kenai road, leading straight to the beach. The whole inn has a nautical, authentically retro feel. Our suite had a wood burning stove set up, and there are VHS players (with a large library of movies in the main office) that brought me back to my childhood. We went with a spectrum and watched Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” and “Moonstruck.”When by the seaside you must eat like the Seasiders! I learned this lesson the hard way after sticking up my nose at seafood all our time on the Cape, and promptly developing a love for lobster once we were land locked. So now I make it a point to suck up all the fresh seafood I can! We stopped by Ecola Seafood for a casual dinner complete with Dungeness crab, clam chowder, and fried scallops.
The next morning we were up for a low tide beach walk – if you make it to Haystack rock during low tide you can do some tide pooling. I managed to make my acquaintance with a few anemones.After the long walk of course I insisted on brunch (if a weekend happens but there is no brunch is it really a weekend?!). We rested our weary (sandy) feet at Pig N Pancake, a brunch place near the edge of downtown, that happily serves (gluten free!) blueberry pancakes. A fire ban started the day of our arrival due to terrible wildfires on the West Coast. We spent the remainder of our weekend stay in Cannon Beach strolling the beach. I managed to play with some yoga poses as the great rock formations loomed picturesquely in the background.There was blackberry picking to be done roadside as the wild blackberries grew heavy on their late August vines. And of course there were sandy spots to sit and enjoy a juicy bowl of freshly picked seaside grown blackberries. Cue lots of purple stained fingers. On our last evening we drove into town as the sun set a golden glow over the rocky shadows. We picked up to-go pizzas from Pizza A Fetta, nationally ranked top 50 pizza place in the USA that’s cozily tucked into a Cannon Beach courtyard. I threw caution to the wind and ordered the Dungeness crab pizza, to no disappointment! We happily munched through our pizzas from a picnic table at Ecola state park, a much quieter and slower place than the somewhat crowded Main Street of Cannon Beach. From our perch we could see the entire bay and all the sea rocks, an evening fog settling in and the hazy blue smoke from wildfires over the mountains. There was even a red sunset to top it off.
We spent the other odd bits of our time cozy in the Grey Whale Inn, or out hunting for coffee.
The weekend was salty, briny, cozy, sandy, restful, yummy, awe inspiring, all in all pretty perfect!