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Oregon & The Washington Coast

"Would you like to come in for a cup of tea," asked the nice lady in Astoria, OR.

In October, 2018, Kel and I found ourselves with 4 days off work. So, we jumped in the Westy and started driving. Like, literally. Just started driving.

No plan. No Destination. Just a direction.

"Where do you wanna go" I asked.

"I don't know," was her reply. "How 'bout the Ocean".

"OK, well, we're driving South, let's see if we can make Cannon Beach in Oregon."

And off we went. To Cannon Beach. In Oregon.

Cannon Beach is most famous for its recognizable land-mark, Haystack Rock, a large sea stack that juts out of the ocean floor. It's almost as if the Gods were having a game of chess along the Oregon coast line and Haystock Rock is the left-over winning King piece.

This worked out perfectly for me because as someone who is relatively new to photography I, of course, have been purchasing gear faster than the decline of Trump's approval rating at a CNN staff party.

So, off I go, into the water and waves to test out my brand spanking new Nikon 10-20 DX lens. I know I'm really digging this photography thing when it's October.

And I'm standing in the Pacific.

Up to my knees.

Because I've got to "get the shot."

After a night at Nehalem Bay Campground and an awesome breakfast in the Westy I decided to check out what's beyond the grassy knoll across from our camp spot.

Man, am I glad I did! Kel and I had the entire beach to ourselves.

We sipped tea. Watched the sun come up. And I took shot. After shot. After shot.

Our next stop was just near the Oregon-Washington state line at Fort Stevens State Park. But first, we needed to visit the home town of....THE GOONIES!

Astoria, WA, is a cute, historic town in the area and there is a massive Green bridge that connects the two states across the Black vastness of the Columbia River. The homes in Astoria are all victorian in style and are situated on a hillside overlooking the river. This makes for a very dramatic viewpoint and, if you've ever seen the 1980's movies Goonies or Short Circuit you have an idea of the pretty yet, sometimes spooky, feel for this town.

While parked on the hillside snapping photos we heard someone call out from behind us. It was one of the local homeowners.

We struck up a conversation.

"Would you like to come in for a cup of tea?" she asked.

As friendly and inviting as this offer was I quickly declined because I knew we were running out of daylight and I wanted to get to camp and set up for some night photography.

(Note to self...always check with your wife first before declining a cup of tea in the "really cool house that I wanted to see because I think it might be haunted.")

Another very cool landmark along the Washington coast is the wreck of the Peter Iredale (this is not to be confused as a Gordon Lightfoot 'B-side' track).

"May God bless you, and may your bones bleach in the sands," stated Captain Lawrence in 1906 upon realizing his ship would not be salvaged after becoming heavily embedded in the shifting sands of the Pacific shoreline. To this day the bones of the boat remain.

What a great quote! And I knew the night pics were gonna be awesome!

This trip was magical!

The van worked flawlessly.

We drank brew pub beer.

We took cliche'd long walks on the beach.

And I got to hone my craft.

We ended the trip by driving the Westy on the beach...something we've always wanted to do but were nervous we would suffer the same fate as the Iredale. For the record, the van perfomed like a champ.

Sometimes you don't need to travel exceptionally far to discover new adventures and reset the noise of the daily grind.

I encourage you to just start driving.

No plan. No destination. Just a direction.


Click here to go to the full photo set.

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