Winter in the Pacific Northwest
Part 2: Seaside, Cannon Beach, and Astoria, Oregon
Day Trips to the Oregon Coast
Not every winter day in the Pacific Northwest is gray, rainy, or cold. Still, a sunny day, or even one when it’s not raining, is a sign to get up and go. So although we usually liked to plan our explorations for the weekend, we learned to take our cues from Mother Nature and be ready to go whenever a suitable day came along.
One day we lucked out. It was Sunday and sunny. Time to take a trip down the Oregon Coast! Being on the peninsula, our trip began with the drive across the four-mile Astoria-Megler Bridge (shown above), always a visual treat regardless of weather. This day was clear, and we were able to see many boats and ships traversing the Columbia River.
Once across the bridge, we turned south. First stop: Seaside and a donut shop. Fortified with caffeine and sugar, we headed toward the ocean (as did Lewis & Clark, evidently—although I can’t comment on their snacks along the way).
After having a friendly chat with some other tourists also taking photos of the view and landmarks, we continued south toward Cannon Beach. Although the sun had disappeared behind the clouds and the air became much cooler, the famous view of the rock formation was worthy of an extended beach walk.
Driving the Oregon Coast
After about an hour, we continued south to enjoy magnificent views of the Oregon Coast. The temperature kept dropping, but not enough to keep us in the car. We pulled into several lookouts, once to eat the lunch I had packed and once just to gape. We turned to head home as darkness approached, but were buoyed by the notion that we’d be returning to these spots and more when we took our leisurely drive down the Pacific Coast Highway later in spring.
Another day, another landmark. This area if full of historical and interesting sights to explore.
In keeping with our “If not now, when?” philosophy (and also because we could grow old waiting for the sun to shine at this time of year in the PNW), we visited The Column in Astoria, OR one day when the rain stopped. It was 165 steps up the tower, windy and cold at the top, but you can’t beat the views, even on a gray, overcast day.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this installment of the series. Next week, back to the peninsula and some of the many scenic views ala Gemignani.
Until then…my best, Shelley
Missed last week’s Part 1? Here’s the link: