OK—I’ll admit that I have a lot of nerve writing about this topic, since I’m retired and can usually structure my time to suit my moods. But when you have a crew of guys hammering, sanding, and otherwise blasting away at your house with power tools for weeks at a time—well, a person needs a little break from the chaos. So bear with me while I tell you about a charming place that you might want to visit: Cannon Beach, Oregon.
My charming sister-in-law turned seventy right after Christmas, and we’ve been looking ever since for a place where we could celebrate by renting a house for a long weekend of relaxing, playing guitars (or ukulele, in my case) and enjoying some sunshine—the idea was to take a break from Tacoma’s dreary winter. Well, you know how difficult it can be to schedule something like this, not to mention the expense of flying and renting a house, so we settled on a beach-side hotel on the northern Oregon coast. The Surfsand Resort in Cannon Beach is lovely, with fireplaces in the rooms, big bathtubs, and views of Haystack Rock. They even made us a private campfire on the beach!
The weather wasn’t warm, but we did have some sun between drizzles, and the town of Cannon Beach is so full of interesting shops, art galleries, restaurants and pubs that we were able to enjoy the rainy times. And there’s a handy little grocery/deli on the main street so you can stock up on refreshments.
Haystack Rock is, of course, the center of attention on the beach, even when the weather is blustery. The result of an ancient lava flow that exploded upward when it reached the sea, Haystack rock soars 235 feet above sea level and is surrounded by smaller rock towers called “needles.” Naturalists on site at low tide helped us spot nesting puffins, soaring bald eagles, circling common murres (which look rather like flying penguins), and anemones in the tide pools. And there’s something at once soothing and invigorating about walking on the beach, even when the weather is stormy.
In the evenings, we gathered in M and ME’s room, which had enough space to accommodate seven people playing guitars and drinking wine. Our snack buffet caught the eye of a visitor, whom we named Craig. After he watched us for twenty minutes, hopefully cocking his head this way and that, R finally broke down and fed him a cracker, and he became our lifelong friend.
Good times, good friends, good music, good wine—a really great vacation. Wishing you the same.