Tourist time: Oregon day 4 – Wandering the coast

One of the things I knew I wanted to do was to see the sunset on the west coast, so after the waterfall hike, we drove for a little over 3 hours to Seaside, OR. Originally the plan was to stay in Manzanita, but after a less than ideal motel in Cascade Locks and two tough days of hiking, splurging on a hotel with a hot tub was an easy decision. After a good Italian dinner, we walked to the beach. There were a few folks who had fires going on the beach, which is definitely not something you see here on the east coast. The whole atmosphere of the west coast is different than the east – the weather is cold and very windy and the water itself is really cold, so even though it was the first week of September, there weren’t any people in the water. I braved walking in up to my ankles and that was plenty deep enough for me – it was cold! The sunset did not disappoint.

Friday was a slow start, but the only plan for the day was to wander the coast checking out some of the main attractions and then head onto Oakridge for the race on Saturday morning. The first stop was Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach.

Shortly before I took off for this trip, I ran across the New Yorker article that talked about how we’re way overdue for an earthquake large enough to devastate the Pacific northwest and if / when it comes, if you don’t see the warning signs before the actual earthquake and you get caught near the coast, it will already be too late for you. So, needless to say, when I saw this sign, I had to grab a picture.

From Haystack Rock, it was a short trip to Neahkahnie Mountain where we took the south trail to the top for an amazing view of the coast. 

The trail was only about 3 miles round trip, but the elevation change (around 840′) was enough of a workout after the last two major days of hiking. Since it was early afternoon, we grabbed lunch in Manzanita and I would highly recommend Left Coast Siesta. I wasn’t sure about Mexican food in the Pacific northwest, but it was one of the best meals of the trip. Plus, who can resist a place that calls the west coast the left coast! 

The last stop on the coast was the Cape Meares lighthouse. You have the option to climb up to the top of the lighthouse, but there was a group already up there and a line for the next group, so we passed on that option. 

Instead, opting to wander around a few of the trails and check out more great views of the coast.

The rest of the day was spent driving to Oakridge, which ended up being around a total of about 6 hours since we stuck to the coast until around Newport, and then getting organized for the Hardesty Hardcore Saturday morning!

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