I woke up this morning to the sound of rain. I went to breakfast at the Local Grill & Scoop, and afterwards, it was still raining. So I thought maybe I should give up on any outdoor plans. I decided to head toward Tillamook to tour the cheese factory. But I drove a short way before I decided to turn back. It was so windy and visibility was so bad, I was getting stressed just driving down the highway. So I turned back before I got too far.
Back in Cannon Beach, I got out of the car to look at the beach in a storm. In a minute, I was so wet, I came home to change my clothes, and my pants are still drying 8 hours later. You can't really tell from these pictures how hard it was raining and how much it was blowing.
So I decided to spend the day at "home" relaxing. I went to a market and bought some soup, and I ate lunch watching the storm out the window of my room. I worked on my newest story, which is taking shape nicely. One of my trip objectives was to relax, read, write, and relax. So I wasn't ticked off at Mother Nature for screwing with me. Well, maybe I was just a little.
But then, at 2:30, the sun came out.
And so did I. I went to Ecola State Park, which is just north of Cannon Beach, for the hike I'd planned on. There are some great views from Ecola Point, at the north end of the park.
I hiked from Ecola Point north to Indian Beach. It's only about 1 1/2 miles, but the trail was very muddy and had a lot of steep climbs and descents that were slippery. The views, though were spectacular. Some were scary, and I'm not really afraid of heights, but there were a few sections of the trail that were right along the edge of steep cliffs.
The way back was on the paved park service road, not nearly as scenic, but through lush mossy forests.
I am so glad I didn't have to leave without getting to do this hike.
When I got back to my car, a herd of about twenty elk were grazing in the grass alongside the parking lot. I figure this was a small gesture from Mother Nature to make up for the earlier storm.
Afterwards, I stopped in town and wandered around. It really is a charming town, and I can see myself coming back for a long weekend sometime. Although I imagine it is very crowded in peak season.
I walked out onto the beach again, at the mouth of Ecola Creek. Flocks of seabirds were hanging around, and it was interesting seeing the creek roaring into the ocean, causing the beach to calve almost like glaciers.
Then it was back home for more soup, the Emmy Awards, and getting all these photos uploaded. The internet connection here is horrendously slow, so it's a tedious process. If you like the pics, please add a comment so I know who's reading.
Total miles today: 47.
Tomorrow I head south to Myrtle Point. I'm hoping the weather cooperates, so I can make some stops for scenery and hiking along the way. I might still make it to the cheese factory, plus I'm planning on seeing Cape Meares, and a whole series of scenic viewpoints, lighthouses, and state parks along the coast. And there are a number of towns that are supposed to be worth visiting: Lincoln City, Newport, and Florence, plus maybe a few others. It's about 230 miles if I went directly, and five hours driving time according to Google maps. With stops and detours, I'm hoping to get there by 6:00.
So... to bed.
And Mom Nature, I'm counting on you for a pretty day tomorrow!