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How To Oregon Beach

Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach

If you live in the valleys or plains, the first part of beach fun is getting there.

All roads west end near the ocean, so set your compass.

If you’re particular, or have a reservation, take a road that ends near your landing spot.

Common sense works at the beach.

Maps show the northern part of Oregon and Hwy 30. If it was good enough for Lewis and Clark, it’s good enough for you.

Besides, Astoria is a wonderful destination.

Make time for the Columbia River Maritime Museum and say hello to Executive Director Sam Johnson.

Or drop down a few miles and find Hwy 26. If there’s a mountain in front of you, turn around. Mt. Hood can wait for another day.

Head west and you’ll roll through farmland and shallow valleys and understand why pioneers called it the Promised Land.

Today it’s called the Silicon Forest, but the same idea prevails. Plant seeds, develop products, and ship. Instead of wheat, it’s wafers.

From the last Hillsboro exit, settle in for a slow ride. Campers and trailers and boats share the road. Find a good traffic slot and wait for a passing lane.

Before you goose your ride up the road, think of Officer Friendly and where he might park. Passing lanes and tickets find each other.

Eventually 26 runs into Hwy 101 like every road

to the Oregon beaches. Turn right for Seaside, left for Cannon Beach. Somehow it’s the same distance.

beer1In a perfect world, you’re heading for a beach shack or cottage instead of a resort. The first has a camp out feel. The other is about presentation.

Before you commit to one or the other, ask yourself if you feel better in a t-shirt and flip flops, or a popped collar and tasseled shoes. Even high rollers need a break from their awesomeness.

That’s the Oregon beach.

With that in mind, book a shack no more than one clear lot from the surf. Make sure it’s a five minute drive to a brew pub that doesn’t bottle or ship their beer.

If you want the the beach and beer, it doesn’t get any better.beer2

But you have to show up.

That means the south end of Cannon Beach and Warren House Pub.

Is beer worth the trip, or is that a problem?

It’s worth the trip.

Put it this way, you could drive from the northeast corner of Oregon and Mutiny Brewing in Joseph to Warren House in Cannon Beach and find similarities.

beer3From the Oregon Alps to the Oregon coast you’ll find craft brewers at the top of their game. That’s a good feeling for everyone.

Be at the top your game, too.

When the designated driver parks the car back at your beach shack, head to the deck and watch waves. Within minutes you’ll have company. Seagulls. And they’re not afraid.

Take an apple outside and toss little bites to the birds. You’ll see enough of them to make you think of Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, but don’t worry. They’re on the roof and you’re near the sliding door in case things go wrong.

If one bird chases all the others off and hogs the apple bits, resist the urge to eat your apple to the core and drill the bully.

A stiff fine comes with dropping a seagull.

But you don’t like bullies? Who does? So warm up your arm, Boomer. Swing it forward, then backward. Go through your throwing motion toward the bird. Push your arm out straight and rotate your thumb up, then down.

This bird knows he’s protected. He won’t flinch. You’re in the bullpen warming up and the gull taunts you. He’s Babe Ruth calling his shot.

He’s been thrown at before and knows you’ve got a weenie arm. He’s got a huge lead off first base and knows you don’t have the skill to pick him off.

Remember, you’re at the beach. It belongs to everyone in Oregon. It’s public, but the true owners rule the air. Boomerpdx advises baby boomers to ignore the distractions. Instead, see the beauty of the bird, his regal white head, his bright yellow beak.

You stare at him, he stares at you. The sweet sea breeze caresses both of you. The surf pounds the sand. The bird fluffs it wings and looks like it’s flipping you off.

You get the bird from the bird? It’s go time.

A quick glance around shows empty windows. No witnesses. Another bird lands on the roof and the bully chases it off.

You remember Tippi Hedren getting pecked in the head time after time because Hitchcock wanted to wear her down. You remember the birds crashing through windows, flying down chimneys.

In a showdown between you and the seagull, the one who leaves first loses. It’s a bird, Boomer. Go in the house.

But you’re all warmed up with the apple core in your hand.













About David Gillaspie


  1. Nancy Lewis Swendsen says:

    Love sea gulls! Remember the book ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’ boomers?

    How many of us feel like ‘Jonathan’ when we attend our high school reunions? Or who are we in that story?

    Sometimes those that choose not to soar are good at ‘holding down the fort’ so to speak.

    Live life to one’s own potential!

    • David Gillaspie says:

      Good post, Nancy. The beach means so many different things. You can see it in beach attire.

      Since Cannon Beach is so close to Portland you get a range of people on the sand, from couples wearing their city sidewalk gear to disappointed Californians shivering in blankets.

      There’s something special about roughing it at the beach. No dress up, no showers, just rolling out in yesterday’s clothes and building a driftwood fort for the day. Sea gulls love the funk, and it fits in with the rest of the beach debris.

      Since my cute little dog always finds something dead to roll in, it’s always fun.

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