Doubling Back to the Oregon Coast

At the conclusion of our build we parted ways with our friends and set off to visit some of Tom’s family in the Seattle area as well as catch up for a dinner with one of my oldest friends in Tacoma. We continued south after that, doubling back to the Oregon coast to camp at Nehalem Bay State Park and spend 4 relaxing days leisurely exploring the northern shore.

On my/our previous trips to the Oregon coast we had barely scratched the surface of some of the northern parts – or skipped them entirely – due to the area’s popularity and more general “touristy-ness.” But there are plenty of places that are fairly quiet (especially in shoulder season) and we were glad we came back to see what we’d driven past a few weeks earlier. Though we made daily excursions different sights within a 60-mile radius, we really enjoyed just spending time at the state park in which we were camped; Allie and I spent many hours patrolling the beach at Nehalem Bay and inspecting the lush rainforest-like forest of the peninsula.

Our trips outside the state park were generally relaxed affairs with multiple short stops per day in addition to a longer walk somewhere. The amount of mud on the couple trails I had thought we’d hike was unreal and would have been impossible without my gaiters (which I had not brought on this trip even if I had been so brave as to try sliding through the inches-thick muck) so our walks were largely on beaches, along headlands, and in the towns such as Cannon Beach. The latter turned out to be particularly interesting as we discovered a hardware store that was also a brewery (also known as Screw and Brew). Highlights of the former include the headland and lighthouse of Cape Meares, Tunnel Beach, and Arcadia Beach. And on a chilly, rainy afternoon we ducked into one of the taprooms of Pelican Brewing Company to warm up with a flight.