It’s always good to have a Plan B.
As originally envisioned, Plan A for me and my better half Carol was to enjoy a belated honeymoon by welcoming the New Year in France (specifically, the culinary mecca of Lyon followed by the sights of Paris). When I booked our flights and hotels last year in early November, it looked like France would actually be safer than the U.S. in terms of COVID-19 conditions. Everything changed around Thanksgiving, however, when the highly transmissible omicron variant came along and soon caused coronavirus cases to quickly spike around the globe.
Seeing the writing on the wall, I came up with a back-up plan closer to home. Even though the Oregon border is only three hours away from where we live near Seattle on Bainbridge Island, I had never spent any time on the Oregon coast. But by reputation, the town of Cannon Beach in northwest Oregon had always been on my radar, and my minimal online research confirmed right away that a short getaway to the area was a no-brainer. Having now experienced it firsthand, I completely understand why National Geographic listed Cannon Beach as one of the 100 most beautiful places in the world in 2013. Between its stunning coastline views and wide sandy beach punctuated by the iconic, 235-foot-high Haystack Rock, the scenery is spectacular. Plus, its charming village can easily be explored on foot, with art galleries, shopping boutiques, fine restaurants, and premier accommodations all within short walking distance of the beach.
Some people prefer to travel in the summertime when the weather is more compatible with T-shirts and shorts. At my end, not so much. In non-pandemic times, Carol and I usually take trips in the off-peak season directly after the December holidays when it’s easier to book lodging and airfare, crowds generally don’t exist, and prices are down. (I might add it’s also the best time for closing our gallery.) But while colder temperatures and the chance of precipitation may affect what we pack, the weather often adds a flair of the dramatic to our trip.
This proved to be the case with Cannon Beach. The day we arrived, there was sideways rain accompanied by howling winds. We got soaked in the short time it took to unpack our car. We were buffeted by the gusts as we walked to the closest restaurant for dinner. And we retired early because the power went out in our otherwise cozy hotel room. Then, the day we left Cannon Beach, there was flooding on Highway 101 five miles north in Seaside which meant we had to reroute and take a much less scenic drive home. But that’s okay because this was all part of our mini-adventure! In between our arrival and departure, the weather was fairly cooperative. Except for one day when we explored the Oregon coast by car and hit some antique stores, we were always on foot. We walked to and from the village for meals and shopping and took multiple strolls on the expansive beach, and while the weather was constantly changing, it was never boring.
And neither was the scenery! As shown by the accompanying images, Cannon Beach has no shortage of dramatic views in the winter. The monolithic Haystack Rock may be the centerpiece, but the constant roar of the ocean and nonstop crashing waves, along with the omnipresent dune grass and inviting sandy beach, are an impressive supporting cast.
The Cannon Beach images featured here are available at our online store in metal, canvas, and fine art acrylic prints – just check out our Olympic Peninsula/Oregon gallery. If you have a custom size in mind, shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will see what we can do! For prints up to 30×45, we are able to offer free shipping to the “lower 48.” And since Carol and I love visitors, please do stop by our brick-and-mortar store on Bainbridge Island if you happen to be in our neck of the woods.
Ciao for now,
Andrew (“Andy”) Bergh