Spring weather on the Oregon Coast varies greatly day to day. Over these spring months, I have had the opportunity to get out to the coast a few times. Each visit has been beautiful, but then again, I am an Oregonian and a beach bum at heart. (Bad days at the beach never happen!)
I really enjoy the blustery, windy, rainy and stormy days. Despite the chill, the strength of the elements has a way of grounding me. Somehow the energy exerted to walk the beach on those days never exceeds the energy restored by the brave walk. Besides, afterwards a strong, hot and slightly sweet black tea tastes so much better while watching raindrops slide down the windowpane as your bones warm and your hair drips dry.
Now with that said, I must say that I do appreciate the idyllic warm, sunny beach days as well. Those days, with a slight cool breeze and a bright sky overhead stretching blue over 180 degrees as it merges and reflects in the open ocean, recharge my energy levels to a point of calm and full. Walks in the sunshine of those days take my problems, my worries, and shrink them to nothing-size.
Life isn’t always perfect, but God makes each day perfectly. Thankfully my visits have included both types of beach days.
Here are a few photos from Pacific City on a beautifully blustery early spring day. This was my first visit to Pacific City, a mid-sized coastal town where car bummer stickers proclaim: “Pacific City: a town of drunks with a fishing problem.” With the bay for fishing and a State Park with some very large sand dunes and strong wind for hang gliding, this town keeps hoppin’. I parked in the public parking at Cape Kiwanda and walked north on the beach away from town. Hiking the sandy Cape to get some of these shots was a calf-stretcher, but worth it!
My next visit to Pacific City was on a day more quintessentially the perfect beach day – sunny and warm. This time I explored along the southern end of Pacific City’s coastline, parking by the Green Acres horseback riding stables near Bob Straub State Park. The small parking lot had a very steep sand dune between it and the beach, which I had to climb – both ways, entering and leaving the beach. Slightly winded, I ended up sitting in the beach grass at the top of the dune for a bit. Sitting there I realized that, unlike Seaside or Cannon Beach on such days, there were very few people out on the beach. It was a nice ratio of people to sand space.
That same day, my friend Anna and I left Pacific City and drove south on highway 101 to Depoe Bay. There I shared with her the Depoe Bay Scenic Lookout. We walked along the rock coastline to view the town from a northwestern angle. Anna had previously only driven through Depoe Bay, which is understandable considering it doesn’t really have sandy beaches to speak of. It literally is a coastal town with a bay and a good fishing culture.
With summer almost here, I got one more spring beach trip in. This time, it was for a birthday celebration. The group of us drove out to Astoria, out on the mighty Columbia River – where the river meets the sea. During our stop in Astoria, we took the Old 300 trolley tour of Astoria’s old town. I highly recommend the one and a half hour tour. It cost a $2 donation and the guides were informative and very friendly!
For dinner we drove on to Fort Stevens State Park, out near the wreck of the Peter Iredale, where we built a bonfire and had a picnic dinner. For the fun of it, we brought a croquet set. Let me tell you, it is a whole different game in the sand! Balls just don’t roll the same in the sand as on grass…