When I was visiting with Veronica, I asked her “If one wanted to put their feet into the Pacific Ocean, what would be the best spot nearby?” and she answered without hesitation “You have to got to Cannon Beach!” It was not the direction I intended to head, but what the heck, what else did I have to do?
So the next morning I headed northwest on Route 26. The skies were beautiful and clear but as I neared the coast, the clouds built and the temperature kept dropping! – for the first time on my trip I had to turn the heat on in my car! Finally I pulled into the little town of Cannon Beach, which despite the cool weather was PACKED with people. However, I had no problem parking in one of the many huge lots, and made my way down to the beach, and there it was, Haystack Rock!
I had a ways to walk to get closer, but I did go down to the water and dip my feet into the FREEZING cold Pacific Ocean.
As I neared Haystack Rock, the clouds began to break and the sun started to come out and warm up everything nicely.
I walked down right next to Haystack and along with everyone else, observed the many interesting sea life and formations in the tide pools. I was lucky enough to see orange and purple starfish!
Satisfied with my little visit to the Pacific Ocean, I got back in my car. I drove for a bit down 101, as I heard it was a very pretty drive and offered a great view of the ocean. I was not disappointed, as I snapped a couple of the most beautiful shots of the Pacific.
Early the following morning, after a quick overnight in Bend at an old but very well kept motel, I headed towards Crater Lake National Park. It was a short drive there, and I pulled into the last stretch. I spotted the Crater Lake National Park sign, and pulled off in order take my usual selfie in front of the State Park sign. As I did so, I noticed two motorcyclists there – one was standing and posing atop the sign (I wonder how he climbed up there) and the other one had his pants unzipped and was peeing. I was hoping that once he saw me drive up he’d have the decency to put it away – but he didn’t. Not wanting to deal with that, I drove on. Ugh.
Between the fee station and the park itself, I passed what is called a “Pumice Desert. “ Wow, but also managed to find some pretty stuff growing.
Once into the park, I pulled off the first chance possible at the North Entrance for my first look! Amazing that there was still some snow at the base of one side of it!
I hit five of the seven highlights that are suggested as one drives around the rim. I think it’s also fascinating to note how the colors of the water changed from early in the morning to afternoon. Here’s some pretty pictures folks!
Cloudcap Overlook – The highest point there in the park. Great view, and you can see the line of haze above the horizon from the wildfires in CA. Also, look at the Whiteback Pine Trees, and see how they are bent permanently from the high harsh winds up there.
Pumice Castle Overlook – Look! It looks like a Hoodoo from Bryce Canyon!
Phantom Ship Overlook – A little island that resembles a ship. It isn’t notated in the guide, but I got a WAY better look at a little trail called Sun Notch.
Vidae Falls – A lovely little waterfall. Not much rainfall lately so it wasn’t as cascading as I’ve heard it can be.
Discovery Point – It is said that in 1853, gold prospector John Hillman became the first Euro-American to see Crater Lake. Some stunning and beautifully colored pictures.
Whew! I’m getting tired!