Cannon Beach & Haystack Rock – Oregon

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In honor of World Oceans Day (which was celebrated yesterday, but let’s pretend it’s a 365 days a year affair), I wanted to highlight a quaint little coastal town in Oregon known as Cannon Beach.  I had the opportunity to visit Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock in 2013 during a cross-country road trip.  Even though I only spent a few hours milling about in the shallow tide pools, Cannon Beach was one of my favorite pit stops of the seven week trip.  From the town overlooking Cannon Beach, everything appears to be a shade of gray, but once your feet hit the sand you start noticing little pops of colorful sea life all around.

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Once I spotted the enormous tide pools near Haystack Rock, I took off running.  It was so much fun exploring every little nook and cranny.  Tiny crabs, fish and other creatures were scurrying about and hundred of birds were flocking overhead.  Fortunately for the sea life, humans and pets are not allowed to walk on the rocks in the tide pools.  There are national seashore rangers all around enforcing rules that help keep these precious ecosystems in tact.  Between the crashing waves of the incoming tide and the squawking shore birds, the ambient noise was deafening.

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After a few early morning hours of exploring and shooting, it was time for coffee.  If you’re in Cannon Beach and you don’t stop at Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters you are a fool. Sleepy Monk made almost as big of an impression on me as Haystack Rock! The place was completely packed, but the service, coffee and baked goods were amazing.  This is the only coffee shop in my 25 years of coffee shops (okay, more like 10 years since I refrained from coffee as a child) that I felt compelled to write a post card to tell them how awesome their service and products are. Sleepy Monk. Go. After the mid-morning coffee break, I hit the road again, but only for a few miles, and stopped off at Ecola State Park. Ecola is an amazing natural area where you can whale watch, walk on the beach and even picnic overlooking the ocean.   The view and the vibe is too good to pass up.  There are plenty of hiking trails where you may be lucky enough to spot some deer and elk or you can stick to the beach and try to spot some seals and whales.  I didn’t have the time to stay and camp in Cannon Beach, but you can bet next time I will.  I had no idea one little stop would leave such a big impression on me.  I think it all started with those colorful starfish.

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