Cannon Beach Camping

Okay, finally I have some time to sit down and write to y'all. It's been a busy couple of days, and we packed a lot into a short period of time. I have lots of pictures to show you, and so I'll just get to it.

For starters, I finished up Todd's pawtrait. Before we left on Wednesday, I spent some time sewing on a label and machine sewing his binding. I'm liking my little quilt labels. My friend Marei recommended this company, Dutch Label Shop, for these. They were pretty quick, and I like how they turned out.

Up until now, I've simply sewn them on by sewing through all the layers of the quilt. For Todd, I didn't want that stitching coming through to the front. It was simple enough to just fold back the quilt top, sew on the label, and then smooth it out again.

Then I quilted him, and sewed on his binding. When we arrived in Cannon Beach, Mike wanted a nap. While he was napping, I finished off  the hand-sewing on the binding for Todd's pawtrait.

As I mentioned, I kept the quilting pretty simple. All the top stitching was done through the batting, and so the quilting was more decorative than functional.

And Todd's Pawtrait was my June OMG, so I'll be linking up at the end of the month.

So here we are in Cannon Beach. Just up the road from the RV park was this historical marker with some information about the local area. Ecola State Park is just north of Cannon Beach and we hiked there on Thursday.

Cannon Beach is named for an actual cannon. This is just a replica.

Here's the story behind it.

We'll visit Ecola State Park in a minute, but we really came to Cannon Beach to dine at EVOO. You might remember when we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary three years ago, we saw a dinner show at EVOO.

You can read all about the restaurant at their website right here. Click on their Cookbook link to find recipes. It's a restaurant, but really a cooking school, owned and operated by husband and wife, Bob Neroni and Lenore Emery. You can read about them below.

The "restaurant/cooking school" is like the best parts of Benihana of Tokyo, where they cook food right in front of you, Food Network, and Alton Brown's food science. Here's some more information.

So we were there for a dinner show. We had seats right up front. Bob had his mise en place for the first act all set up. What you see there from the top are snow peas, asparagus, carrots, celery, quinoa, brown rice, white rice, green onion and cilantro

Each course came with a different wine.

This is Lenore and Bob. He was preparing a fried rice here, and he was talking about the why's and how's of preheating a skillet.

I wish I could toss my vegetables like this and have them land back in the pan. I've tried it a few times only to fling things all over the kitchen.

So here's our first course.

It was so much fun sitting right up front. Here, Carlos was plating things up for serving.

And there we go. They were very accommodating of Mike's no-seed policy. This sesame-encrusted halibut was served sans sesame seeds for Mike.

The rest of us seed-eaters got a plate that looked like this. The purplish sauce you see there on the side is made using salal berries as one of the ingredients.

They have them growing right on site at the restaurant, and I Googled them while we were eating.

Interesting. That was their own home-made Worcestershire, and they used their own salal berries.

In this next image, Bob was showing us how to get a salad evenly dressed, especially if it used pungent flavors like garlic paste, as this one did. He rubbed the dressing on the bowl, and then used the salad, essentially, to mop it up.

And this was our second course.

Looks pretty, no?

The green sauce ringing the plate was made with ground pumpkin seeds. Mike probably could have eaten those, but he was given a basil sauce instead.

Here's mine with the pumpkin seed sauce.

The third course was cooked out back on their wood-fired grill.

Before he flipped the meat over, he moved the grill so that it rested right on top of the coals, and then finished it off there.

And here's what that plate looked like. Yum.

Finally, dessert. Oh. My. Gosh.

Look at that. For Mike, they made a peach crisp.

For the rest of us, a mixture of peaches and berries. To be clear, there were others in the group with different food sensitivities...cream...nuts...every person's meal was made to special order, if necessary.

That was incredibly delicious and fun. In the three years since our last visit, I'd forgotten how much fun it was. After that, we just laid down on the pavement, having become beach ball shaped, and we just rolled ourselves back to the truck.

The next day, what could we do after such a big meal but get some exercise. I'd read about the hike to Crescent Beach on the "Only in Your State" website. Then, I found more about it in our own hiking book...this one:

And it claimed the difficulty was "Moderate" with a 160-foot elevation gain. No problem, we thought. Then we actually hiked it.

So the hike wouldn't have been difficult except that it was slippery as goose grease in places. We were picking our way along the trail to avoid falling (successfully), but wow. It was a nail-biter in some places. The elevation turned out to be reasonable. The hike gave a good combination of upsies and downsies. It was easy enough to find the trailhead.

Here's how we're going to die today.

No cougars were spotted. The hike began and ended with stairs.

As you might guess, I took pictures of every blooming thing.

There are our old friends the salal berries. They are ubiquitous on the Oregon coast.

We saw several of these white butterflies. I'm tempted to call them Canadian Whites, but they actually look more like West Virginia Whites. From what I can tell, West Virginia Whites do not live on the west coast, so ya' got me.

The hike took us along the cliffside through a lush green forest of old growth Sitka spruce. The Sitka spruce are easily spotted by their alligator-skin bark. They are huge trees. Some are nearly as big as the California redwoods.

Occasionally, we'd catch a glimpse of the ocean and the coast and the beach we were hiking to.

At places, we were right along the cliff's edge. The beach in the foreground is Crescent Beach. Toward the back, that towering rock formation is Haystack Rock, an iconic feature of Cannon Beach.

Here, I've zoomed in on it.

But to get back to the Sitka spruce, here's one that fell across the trail at one point. Mike estimated from its rings that it was nearly 300 years old when it fell.

Their roots snaked across the path. In some places they came clear to my knees and I had to take care stepping over them.

Looking north, the view looked like this.

And finally, we came to the stairs down to the beach.

Looking south, we saw this.

Here's a panorama of the area.

We walked south toward the rocks on the left side of the image above. As we got closer, we could see that a natural bridge had formed in one.

We briefly walked through the opening. We worried about the returning tide. As it turns out, the tide was actually going out. Overhead, we spied this gull who probably was nesting there.

These rocks serve as a rookery for seabirds, and there were thousands of them.

The sides of the stacks were encrusted with barnacles...

and anemones.

You can see where the water line rides when the tide comes in.

On the other side, we stood closer to Haystack rock.

Looking back the way we came, it looked like this.

And since we were worried about the tide, we didn't stay long, but headed back and to the right where we sat on a log and ate our Clif bars. Off in the distance...what's that I see?

Do you see it? It's the Tillamook Head Lighthouse.

Zooming way in...it was quite an engineering marvel in its day. Built in the 1800's, it was in use for 77 years. You can read its fascinating history right here. It was also known as "Terrible Tilly."

We stayed for about an hour before heading back up the trail. The trail was steep on the way back, but the worst was over fairly quickly. About that time, our shadow selves made a short appearance.

It was cloudy most of the day. Along the way we saw this patch of clover growing in just one place. Each individual leaf is larger than a quarter, to give you some idea of its rather large scale.

Back at the parking lot, we walked out to Ecola Point where a number of artists were painting the scene.

And that was pretty much all we did. We were tired pups that night, and we slept well. Now we're back home. Sadie was pretty happy to have a lap to stretch out on this morning.

Smitty got his snuggle-bug loves in bed with me last night. He was just waiting for the door to open so he could get outside and scare up a mouse.

They're making progress on the road. It's been widened, and graded, and graveled. We're thinking paving must be coming soon.

This morning I went to the farmer's market with Erik and Mae. I picked up a half flat of blueberries to make some jam and some chutney. Also, some carrots to make more pickled carrots. There are some new recipes on this week's menu, attempting to use our CSA veggies in some creative ways. I'll report back about anything that's really good. As for the rest of the day, I'm hoping to have time for some sewing.

20 comments from clever and witty friends:

Kate said...

Looks like a wonderful weekend. Oh my, all that food! What fun, both the dinner and the walk. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

CJ Smith said...

Welcome home! Looks like it was a wonderful outing.

You darn near killed me! I'm taking a break from (shudder) cleaning the house. Thought I'd have a snack of popcorn and read my emails. Opened Cat Patches and saw you are home. I had just glommed onto a mouthful of popcorn when I read "LIAR!". Good thing I didn't choke to death! Hahahaha!!!! You can probably hear me laughing all the way to Oregon!

Quilting Babcia said...

And a good time was had by all! Your hike surely worked off all the delicious calories of the previous nights dinner.

Sandra W said...

Such beautiful scenery.
And Todd--delightful.

piecefulwendy said...

Oh my, that dinner experience looked like so much fun! I did something like that while we were in Milwaukee (stop laughing) and John was in a business meeting. A restaurant in the hotel (the Pfister) brought us into the kitchen area and took us through the making of an appetizer, main entree and dessert. It was really fun, so your photos brought back memories. The hike looked enjoyable. I've always wanted to see Haystack Rock.

Susan C said...

I enjoyed an afternoon at Cannon Beach last July when visiting Oregon. It’s so very different than our South Carolina beaches. I would have loved to spend more time in the area. Your pictures are wonderful, I especially like “every blooming thing”!

Denise :) said...

Wow, what a fascinating restaurant -- I'm glad y'all had front seats, so we could benefit! And a lovely hike with lots of pretty scenery. You eat well and walk it all off. Good plan! Todd's pawtrait is precious. Great finish! :)

quiltzyx said...

Cannon Beach, Crescent Beach & your hike looked great - thanks for taking me along! Plus I'm glad to know what to do if I should encounter a cougar too.

What a fun dinner experience - I had to chuckle when I looked up the Salal berries & read that they are a natural appetite suppressant!! And all that yummy food they prepared for you - hah! And I think I would have eaten all of those selections too- just not the wine & coffee.

What a story the Tillamook Lighthouse has! Holy cannolis!! That last log entry had me sniffling.

Both kitties look quite content to have you again again. :)

Brown Family said...

That is a beautiful place! Thanks for sharing. THe food looked good but it looked like a lot to eat!

Dots said...

Interesting pictures! Great outing with great food equals fun! I really loved the finished pawtrait of Todd. Such a fascinating project. What fun you had.

Nancy said...

It has been years since I was able to hike down to Cresent Beach. My kids used to enjoy that hike with me especially after they saw a surfing movie that had been filmed there for the final scenes.
I love that part of the Oregon coast.

Michele said...

The pawtrait turned out great and I'm jealous of all the wonderful food you got to enjoy.

Arlene Adams said...

My mouth is watering after seeing all that delicious food at EVOO. I am coming to Portland in October and plan a side trip to Cannon Beach. Hope to be able to eat there. Do you need reservations?

And I love the pawtraits you do. I have that on my list of "things to do" and hope to do pawtraits of my two cats, K.C. and Tabitha some day.


Lyndsey said...

The dinner experience looks magnificent. I'm not sure I could eat all of it but I'd have a really good try. The hike looks fun, if a little steep.

Karen's Korner said...

Todd's pawtrait is just purrfect. I enjoyed sharing your break away with you. I have seen so much of the world since I began blogging - all from the comfort of my computer room.

Patty said...

Beautiful quilt. Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal and congrats on your finish.

Nancy said...

I truly enjoyed reading your post. The beach hike looks grand.

Soma @ whimsandfancies.com said...

Todd's portrait is beautiful, such beautiful colours. Ecola park looks like a wonderful place and the dinner show looks like fun! Looks like you had a beautiful and very interesting hike to the Crescent Beach. It's always comforting to come back to our kitties after a holiday :)

Thanks so much for linking up on Wandering Camera.


Su-sieee! Mac said...

Your pawtrait quilt is beautiful. You have me thinking how fun it would be have one of our Molly the Cat. Me being me, that's probably as far as I get with that quilt. :-) I could print a big-size photo of her instead.

Thanks for sharing your adventures. That was only a weekend? I love weekends that seem like a whole week's or month's worth of fun. Oregon is a gorgeous state. Years ago, I spent overnight in Tillamook and toured the cheese factory there. I couldn't get over how many cows live in Tillamook. :-)

betty-NZ said...

A lovely trip and wonderful scenery.