The Pacific Ocean meets Mel's Riptide

Trip Start Jul 13, 2013
Trip End Aug 05, 2013

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What I did
Cannon Beach
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of United States  , Oregon
Friday, July 19, 2013


Great sleep. The sea air knocked us out and the furnace kept us cozy. We all awoke rested and ready to roll.

It was a cloudy and cool day but pleasant nonetheless. The air alone was worth it: moist and salty like porpoise tears. Good for the lungs and head.

We walked 30 minutes from the campground into the middle of town and settled on the Pig'n Pancake for breakfast. As with most places, it would seem, we had to wait outside for a seat. Still, it was worth it.

Buckwheat pancakes, ham steaks and scrambled eggs. Mmmm. And coffee. God I love/need coffee in the morning. Sets the world to rights.

From there we wandered down the main strip occasionally poking our noses into the numerous art galleries and plastic crap stores. We have a not-so-subtle code word for cheap stores which we wish to vacate quickly without appearing rude: "Chinois". French for overpriced, inauthentic crap.

Henry was begging us to go to the beach and so we did. I had forgotten how hard it is to walk through deep sand, and having never done it with 40 pounds on my shoulders, it was a new experience altogether. It's funny how Henry has boundless energy before bed but whenever we walk somewhere he's too tired: "Lift me up."

Mel headed back to the campsite to fetch Penny's Ergo carrier as the stroller was not going to cut it in the sand. Note: we'd planned on walking back together after breakfast to get this but Henry's pleas were just too much. He had to go NOW.

I must say that the feel of being on that beach with my boy and watching the waves roll in, Haystack Rock towering in the background, was pretty cool. I'm me and then I'm a Dad and then I'm my Dad and he's me, and at that moment I was aware of being all four. I can't explain it but it really dawns on me sometimes.

Henry, of course, wanted to swim, and so I had to explain that we'd find Nemo when the weather was a little better. He doesn't get the concept of shrinky-dink yet. Sometimes your berries get so cold and tight that they hurt (that's for the ladies - guys get it already).

We made numerous 'castles' in the sand and drew pictures of the grandparents and an Okta Motka Pokta (?). He wanted all of your names written in the sand and so we did. You're all with him on this holiday.

Side Note: The Ninkasi Brewing Company 'Total Domination IPA' is perfect for this climate. It's currently tied with the Citra Blonde. It's also likely responsible for the sentimental moments in this post. I'll be picking up some new brews this evening. I'm dedicated to my craft.

Haystack Rock is pretty cool. Just an anomalous mass of rock off a beautiful beach. I'd imagine that there's a fair quantity of seagull crap there too.

The tide was too high for closer inspection but that's OK. Henry would have endangered the both of us.

I can't wait to find some tidal pools for him to poke around in.

By the time we'd finished with the beach it was lunch. We went to the Local Grill and Scoop and each had the Seafood Stew (clams, shrimp, scallops, potato and tomato). Nourishing is the best descriptor for it. I felt like a better person for having eaten it.

Having said that, it was easily the most expensive meal in the world. That's not even hyperbole. Straight gospel.

I retract the statement from yesterday that Cannon Beach will be our food stop. We'll try Seaside tonight for a change. Cannon Beach is designed to empty tourist pockets.

We walked back to our campsite after lunch when, to everyone's surprise, Mel was caught short in the worst way. It wasn't food poisoning but rather the novelty of potent tomato-based stew and seafood that had elevated her colon to Defcon 1.

She grimaced and danced in the middle of a road and did the shuffle-walk back to the campground.

The cruel and uncaring Universe ensured that the first available restroom was locked.

You know that feeling when you really have to go and as you get closer to the toilet your body calculates exactly how many strides are left before it can stop trying? Well, Mel's' body hadn't factored in that locked door.

Mercifully, there was a unisex handicap restroom next to it and she bolted in past me like Flo-Jo at the height of her steroid-enhanced career.

Linens were soiled, chafing occurred, but it could have been much, much worse (and funnier to write about).

Mel has given me full license to write about this. Of course she did - it's Mel.

She's sleeping as I write this. It must have taken a lot out of her. Pun intended.



We explored Seaside after everyone's nap. I had three distinct impressions of Seaside:

1st Impression: Dumpy and full of sketchy people. The poor cousin of Cannon Beach.

2nd Impression: Of course it's the opposite of Cannon Beach! These are actual residents and not just tourists. Why wouldn't they show their true selves, warts and all? Goodness knows I do back home.

3rd Impression: I keep waiting to either be offered Bath Salts or be confronted by someone who's on them.

We took a tour of the main tourist/shopping strip. We found a 'Carousel Mall' where Henry and I took a turn.

Most of the shops were either tourist traps or weird. One of the latter establishments had a mechanical great white shark that you could ride. It was operated by a young man whose enthusiasm for the ride was clearly chemically enhanced.

Despite these dodgy moments we quite liked the shift away from the Cannon Beach crowd. We ate dinner at the 'Pizza Harbor'. Jambalaya Shrimp pizza. Very, very nice. Mel better hope her runs have cleared up though.

We did a quick grocery/beer run and then headed home. Tonight I'm sampling from the Full Sail Brewing Company, Hood River: Full Sail LTD Lager - Bohemian Pilsner (5.6 percent).

I'd quite forgotten how refreshing lagers are after the hoppy beers the last few nights. At first it had no taste but I'm picking up on the subtleties now. Mostly I'm just enjoying the lack of aftertaste.

We're having another fire just now. I think we're touring a cheese factory in Tillamook tomorrow. More then.
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My Review Of The Place I've Seen

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briandom on

Finally dug your link out from under far too much email. Harbouring anxious feelings to read the blog and guilty ones for not yet having done so.

The plan was to write that things are good and that life will soon return to normal for me and us. Then I considered the 6.5 lbs of new baby on my chest (really healthy appetite in this one) and realized that what was normal and what was us is no more, that neither will return, and that things are not good in the new normal and with the new us, they are great.

Miss you all, admire your adventures, and enjoy being abreast of your food and beverage intake and the aftermath too. Feels just like you are here, but leaves me (and us) wishing we were there.

May there be many more trains!

Mum & Dad on

Tell Henry we are there with him too. Glad you pointed out that Penny was sleeping "off frame". We thought she had taken the picture :o)
Poor Mel, and she can't even have a beer to help her recovery.

Sheryl on

Poor Melissa! Tummy ache on a camping trip with no convenient access to a bathroom...awful. Better stick to food that won't do that. It looks nice, cool and breezy there. I'm roasting back here in the 30 degree heat. Just finished a 2 day golf tournament and am relaxing at my mom's enjoying Duncan's storytelling of your adventures. :)

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