After some bites of yet more “continental breakfast” and some coffee, we left Garibaldi and headed north a bit on Highway 101, to Cannon Beach. When we reached it and checked out the beach near Haystack Rock it was raining, so we went to have some breakfast at “Pig & Pancake” first (hoping again that the weather would become at least a little better) before driving into Ecola State Park.
Our first stop was the lookout at Ecola Point, where one has a nice view towards Cannon Beach and all the seastacks that line the coast. The trail all the way out to the actual Ecola Point (head of the cape) was closed unfortunately, so we couldn’t get to the second lookout platform that is a bit more exposed, and made some photos from the first one instead. Good thing there weren’t too many people, the platform was swaying a little bit, which made the intended long exposure photos difficult.
Since it was still drizzling and the trails looked pretty muddy, we opted against hiking, and took the road down to Indian Beach instead. Yeah, lame and regrettable of course, because the forest there is wet and cool, with an abundance of moss and lichen growing everywhere, together with ferns. Very lush and green, and absolutely gorgeous! The thought of what this forest must look like with sunlight breaking through some morning fog… need to come back there and hike the trails!
Down at Indian Beach, we spent some more time making photos and enjoying the clouds and surf. On our way back, we stopped along the road and began to wander around a little bit, to make at least some photos of that dense and lush forest. I have them in a little gallery: Coastal Forest.
Then it was time to close the gap to Washington, and find a FedEx store to drop off the rented camera so that it would be back with BorrowLenses within the rental period. We stopped in Astoria and had a great salmon sandwich (together with mandatory clam chowder, of course) at the Silver Salmon Grill, before driving over the impressive Astoria-Megler Bridge, crossing the border of Oregon and Washington.
In Long Beach, we dropped off the camera, had coffee at a very nice local roaster (the smell in the shop was heavenly!), put on gas and then continued inland, still on Highway 101, along the southern end of Willapa Bay, then through a long stretch of forest to Raymond and Aberdeen, where we left Highway 101 until it comes back down from the north at Olympia, where we entered good old I-5 again, about 1300 miles after we left it in Los Angeles. Traffic and dense urban population had us back – what a contrast to all the cozy and sleepy villages and towns that we had seen along the coast of Northern California, Oregon and the bit of Washington.
We arrived in Seattle around 5 in the afternoon, unloaded our stuff from the car and freshened up a bit before heading out for dinner and beers at the Elysian Brewery Pub. Once more, I couldn’t help but notice how nice the long daylight hours are in the North – even at 10pm, there was still a sliver of light at the horizon. The forests and sloughs and places I had seen while driving inland sure make we want to visit again – Olympic National Park, I hear your calling…