One of the most scenic landscapes in Oregon spans 363 miles along the Pacific Ocean. The coast is home to sand dunes flowing into cliffs that drop straight to the sea and a rocky coastline that has served as a backdrop for countless Hollywood movies. Yet with all this majestic beauty so close to our daily life, we barely take the time to truly enjoy all this state has to offer. So I am dedicating this Postcard to exploring home, to taking time to stop at every scenic outlook, tourist trap, trailhead and gravel road. Because when you abandon being a local, you notice more about your surroundings.
Unlike your typical beach, the Oregon coast is the most magnificent during the winter months. I find it quite suiting that we don’t call it the beach, but the coast. For the word beach does not describe the natural wonders that live here. From the oversized crushing white waves, to the small fishing towns, high view points and populated tide pools, an hours drive from Portland has so much to offer.
Driving south on the 101 from Cannon Beach to Manzanita, the winding two-lane road creeps up and down a jagged cliff. Though icicles hang where water once dripped, the sun is at its highest point of the day. The radiating heat from the sun hitting the car makes it almost feel like summer. We slam on our brakes to soak in every view of the ocean, slide around corners for signs of beach access, and jump under ropes for a closer viewpoint.
As the evening sun sets, people rush from their condos, cars and storefronts to catch a glimpse of the yellow, then orange, then purple and red skyline. Couples hold hands, kids play in the sand, and the sun slowly fades behind a curtain of splashing turmoil. We wonder to ourselves, are we the last people on the west coast to see the sun tonight? We cheers a toast: Here’s to adventure, to getting out no matter the distance, and taking a finer look at what’s in front of you every day.
Wish you were here.