Wednesday, June 24, 2015

DESTINATION: Cannon Beach, Oregon

Leaving Mount Hood we headed west, back through Portland, and traveled northwest on Highway 26 towards the Oregon coast line.  Highway 26 is a beautiful scenic route that goes through Tillamook State Forest.  Somewhere around the town of Banks, we spotted a roadside fruit stand and stopped to buy some of those delicious looking cherries TK had her eye on in Hood Valley.  They were as delicious as they looked and a great snack to have on the road to Cannon Beach.

Loggers on Highway 26
Those delicious cherries on the dash of the Blue Devil

We stayed two nights at Cannon Beach, OR, using it as our "base-camp" as we explored the Pacific Coast.  Our two night stay was at the Schooner's Cove Inn where we had a lovely room with a balcony that over-looked the beach.  The room had a small kitchenette (no stove) which we used along side the community grill, below our balcony, to grill steaks one night.  The room also had a fireplace which came in handy on those chilly, June mornings.


Schooner's Cove sign
View of Cannon Beach from hotel looking south

View of Cannon Beach from hotel looking north

Sunset on the beach, back of Schooner's Cove

Community lounge, picnic chairs & grills

Inside of our room at Schooner's Cove

From our balcony, and looking north, we had a view of where Ecola Creek meets the Pacific, Bird Rocks, Chapman Point, and Tillamook Lighthouse.  Haystack rock sat just south of our room but its view was blocked from our balcony.  Fortunately,  with just a short walk from our hotel room and down to the beach, Haystack Rock and The Needles came into full view.

Bird Rocks and Chapman Point

Haystack Rock

Ecola Creek meeting the Pacific Ocean at sunset
Tillamook Lighhouse in the distance

Cannon Beach, OR, is located on the Pacific Northwest Coast of Oregon, 80 miles west of Portland and 25 miles south of Astoria.  It is surrounded by the rugged natural beauty of forests, ocean beaches, rivers, and the Oregon Coast Mountain range.  The town is only four miles in length, and has an approximate population of 1,700.  No franchise type businesses are allowed in Cannon Beach so lining the streets are "mom and pop" boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and pubs.
Everything is beautiful at Cannon Beach
 
Bill's Tavern - a good place to enjoy a pint

You didn't expect to read this blog post and without a history lesson, did you?  Well, here it is...the area now known as Cannon Beach was first inhabited by native cultures, and then, since the late 1800s, by American settlers.  In 1806, Captain William Clark, of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, traveled south to Cannon Beach in order to secure needed blubber from a whale beached near the mouth of Ecola Creek (right in front of our hotel!).  Supposedly, the Lewis & Clark Expedition was tired of eating elk and dog meat so they thought whale blubber would be a tasty alternative!
Back to our trip.....after we settled into our hotel we went in search of refreshments and found them at a hardware store, of all places.  Cannon Beach Hardware & Public House sits on the main drag of Hemlock St.  We enjoyed a local micro-brew in their beer garden and then went souvenir shopping in the hardware store. G-man couldn't convince himself that he needed one of the store's "Screw & Brew" T-shirts!
Cannon Beach Hardware & Public House

Public house side
Next, we roamed nearly four miles of pristine beach in search of sand dollars but came back to our hotel without any treasure.  Starving after our long walk we headed to Fultano's Pizza (have we mentioned how much Oregon loves pizza?) for a little pie.  They were closing but made us a pizza "to go" that we took back to our balcony and enjoyed along with the view.  We left our little "pizza-mooching" dog at home (with his grandparents) but had a "pizza-mooching" seagull demand our crumbs, instead.  I guess the seagull didn't see the sign about not feeding birds and wild life around the hotel.
Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine!
With our bellies full and our feet aching it was time to hit the hay.  Wait, we mean go to sleep, as tomorrow we hit the hay - Haystack Rock, that is!