let's go to the beach

Ever since we hit the ground, we have been active non-stop! Running, walking, biking, climbing, hiking, etc. and it's been a blast. My legs and feet are definitely feeling it, but it is a welcome feeling. In no way am I a beast at all of these activities, but they are thoroughly enjoyable and I love engaging in fun new ways to exercise.

Back in mid-June we took a trip to Cannon Beach, less than two hours from Portland, and hiked in the nearby Ecola State Park. It is just a short fifteen minute drive into town from there, but when standing at the lookout point, breathing in the cool sea air, you feel isolated in nature. The sky remained overcast, but even so it was absolutely beautiful. It may have even been more vibrant because the sun was not washing out the gorgeous colors of flora and fauna. From the top viewpoint, we hiked down the "difficult" trail about 1.5 miles before reaching the beach down below. The easier trail was blocked by the tide, so our only option was the more challenging route. It was a bit of a challenge, but also very short. The clouds over the ocean were magnificent, stately and bubbling like rising bread dough. And just beyond them, the sun shone a few rays onto the water, creating a breathtaking ocean view.

Less than a year ago was my first Pacific Ocean encounter, back in September on a spur of the moment trip to San Diego and Pasadena with my Young Life team. Now I feel so privileged to be this close to the water and experience it more than just once a year. Being from Texas, I have not had many beach trips simply because the beaches in Texas although in existence, are not much of a sight to see. In fact, my first trip to a beach in my life (that I can remember) was the summer after my senior year of high school when I travelled through Europe. I saw a French beach as well as a Dutch beach. Both were amazing, but I am really glad the ones I get to enjoy here in Oregon are equally as beautiful. Now as for swimming in the water... well that might not ever happen unless I am in a wetsuit. The water was shocking. I literally felt shocked when I ran down the sand to about waist high water. I could not handle it for more than three seconds, so I darted back out and shivered until I was back to a relatively normal body temperature. We hung out at that spot for a while and then headed back up to the car to journey down the beach to the city of Cannon Beach.

The quaint little town is quite tiny with only a handful of roads, but it is most certainly a tourist spot. We stopped for lunch at a local pizza kitchen, where we scarfed down three extra large family size pies, all of which were very delicious. Just down the road from there was a new coffee shop called Insomnia. I love the atmosphere there and they serve coffee equally as good as any local shop in Portland. A huge plus! You might say this place is just as hipster as Portland too, although the patrons don't always match that vibe. Our next stop was the beach, which we were all looking forward to because that was our last stop of the day. We found a good site to build a fire and watch the sunset. We also played a few rounds of bocce ball, which has become a staple in our group and a game of ultimate frisbee, which was quite a challenge to play in the sand. Of course you can't have a campfire on the beach without s'mores! When the sun went down over the ocean, we gathered our belongings and made our way back to Portland. The relatively short trip was well worth it!