Last week was our annual family trip to Cannon Beach, but with my friend’s BirthdayPartyOne (PartyTwo is happening tonight), and my trip to Montana, I haven’t had a chance to write about it yet. Brother, his wife, their three kids, and Mom ‘n’ Stepdad arrived on Sunday, and I arrived on Monday.
Before I left Portland, I checked in with Brother to see if I needed to bring anything, and he texted back, The house is small and not very nice, just so you know. Greeeeat. That meant I was sleeping on the floor. I threw in my sleeping bag and pillow, as well as a blanket to throw down, just in case. I also brought my bike this time, just in case I wanted to get away and have some solo adventures. When I arrived, I got the low-down on the house, which Mom and BrothersWife had spent the whole day cleaning and fixing, but there were still a multitude of things that were broken or at least annoying. They called the rental company, who sent a repair guy down to fix the more egregious things. The house was owned by a family named Kennedy, but it must have been the Grey Gardens branch of the family, not the Hyannisport branch. After some negotiation, Mom’s diplomacy skills got them to refund a day of the rental fee, the entire cleaning fee, and the entire pet fee.
For the most part, we did all the usual family-type things that people do on the beach. We lit fires, we roasted marshmallows to make s’mores, and we talked and watched the kids play in the sand. The sunset was particularly nice one night, so I managed to get some pics before my battery died.
Stepdad had been telling us about a phenomenon called ‘minus tides’, in which the tide is extra low, but this year the minus tides were up to two feet lower than usual, and about as low as they can possibly be on the Oregon coast. Tuesday’s was the lowest tide, apparently, but if you were lucky enough to be up around five-thirty or six in the morning, you’d be able to experience the minus tides all week. On Wednesday, the morning of my third and final day, my eyes popped open around six, so I dressed quickly, grabbed my bike, and headed for the beach. It was very foggy, as mornings there often are, but this time it was so foggy that I couldn’t even see Haystack Rock until I was actually down on the beach and right next to it. I rode along the dirt roads and paths, following the dune grass, until I found a set of steps leading down to the sand. I carried my bike over my shoulder until I got onto the wet sand, because dry sand is extremely hard to ride in, and it gets in every single crevice of your bike’s mechanical parts and destroys them, so I was quite happy to wait for the wet sand.
I came across an interesting scene, which was of a series of chairs that had been left on the sand overnight, complete with peoples’ toys and jackets. It was very eerie, almost post-apocalyptic. I set my bike down and pulled out the camera. . .
. . .then finally made it to Haystack Rock. It was pretty exhausting just getting down there. It’s a pretty good walk at the normal low tides, but during the minus tide, it took forever to walk to the water’s edge. I arrived around six-thirty, to find about ten or fifteen other intrepid explorers down there with me. We all were walking around the edge of the rock, admiring and touching the myriad of colorful starfish and anemones that were exposed.
The ultra-low tide exposed some nefarious and debaucherous activities, as well. These two star-crossed lovers (har har) were caught in the act of spooning on a rock. . .
. . .and here we see a perfect example of the type of forbidden love that sometimes manages to transcend the boundaries of inter-species predation.
After I pulled myself away from the starfish and their activities, I walked down to the water’s edge, which was clear down to the ‘back’ of Haystack Rock, on its ocean side. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this area, during a normal low tide, you’re normally only able to get to the beach side of the rock, where the usual tidepools are. This time, the rock was almost completely exposed. Check THIS out:
I know it’s hard to convey all of this by such close-up shots, but it was absolutely stunning, and despite the lack of sleep that morning, I’m very glad to have had the opportunity to witness it.
By this time, which was now around seven-thirty, the tide was just beginning to come in again, and some of us who were engrossed in our photography had to scramble from a couple of waves. I turned around to find a little rock and tidepool formation that I’d attempted to photograph earlier, but the light had changed enough that it was particularly eerie and beautiful.
After that, I put my bike back over my shoulder and trudged back through the thick fog toward town. I navigated through the stairway and parking lot of a time-share condo in order to do so, and took the liberty of using their rinsing shower on my bike as well. Don’t tell anybody. From there, I headed to my favorite coffee shop, Bella Espresso, for my favorite beach drink, a white chocolate raspberry mocha. Mmmmmm. I was the second customer of the day, and arrived just as they were opening, so I sat in the courtyard and watched people on the street while I sipped my coffee, before I rode back to our ‘small and not very nice’ rental house.
This was the fifth year in a row that we’ve done a Cannon Beach vacation. This one was quite a bit more stressful than usual, due to the fact that the rental house was so small, and awkwardly laid out, and dirty. The kids were also a bit much to deal with this time, at least for me. Eight-year-old Niece is usually really great, but when she’s having an off day, she can be almost insufferable. Three-year-old Nephew is, well. . .three, so he’s at the Constantly Looming Tantrum stage of life. There are very few things that are more annoying to me than little kids’ tantrums (especially since I’m not much of a ‘kid person’ anyway), so I took the opportunities for quiet getaways whenever I got the chance.
This trip was fine and everything, but I’m sure next year’s trip will be better.