July 31. Sunset destination Cannon Beach, Oregon.
Google maps says Sunriver to Nehalem Bay State Park is a five hour drive "without traffic". Sunset is at about 8:50 p.m. so by leaving at 10 a.m. we should have all kinds of time! What can we find to photograph along the way? I'd seen beautiful photos taken at Silver Falls State Park, and it's only a "small detour" off of highway 20. According to the google, this adds less than an hour to the trip. Falls are typically great mid day photography subjects, and so we add them to our itinerary.
The first part of the drive is through the towering trees of Williamette State Forest. Forest gives way to rolling hills covered in a variety of crops. The route to Silver Falls State Park is winding, hilly and slow and takes more than an hour, seriously limiting the amount of time we feel we can take to explore. Still, it's a nice break. And a place that could warrant a return visit if we had time to explore.
I'd reserved us a campsite at Nehalem Bay State Park before leaving home; the park is about a half hour south of Cannon Beach. We pulled in around 4 p.m. and set the tent up for the first time of the trip. Ana timed us. We clocked in at just under a half hour, start to finish. We were conveniently located just steps from the bathrooms, and meters from the beach.
The park is really nice, clean and well maintained. A site with water and electricity, and showers in the bathrooms (which, regrettably, we did not take advantage of), cost us $31.00.
A strong wind was blowing, keeping our visit to the white sand beach short and sweet prior to heading to Cannon Beach. The town was busy, making our quest to find clam chowder for Ana at a restaurant that could seat us before sunset a challenge. We ate at the Wayfarer, on their patio, where they brought blankets for patrons. Us northerners just sat and enjoyed the rays. Dinner was good but a bit on the pricey side. As it turned out, that ended up being the most expensive meal of the trip.
We hit the beach and watched the sky. I had one shot in mind from the minute we decided on Cannon Beach. I picked my spot on the beach, set my tripod up, and enjoyed the show.
As the sun was almost on the horizon, a gal walked past me and said "I'm a professional photographer. You're missing the real show. It's much prettier at this end of the beach."
Now, she was right in pointing out the spectacular colors on the clouds to the south, but wrong to assume I hadn't noticed them.
My friend, the very talented photographer Schmoo of Schmootography, loaned me her Lee Big Stopper for the trip and I happily putzed around trying long exposures. I shot with my 24 - 105 f4 and with my Tokina 10 - 17mm fisheye.
I love the Pacific Ocean. I am mesmerized by the horizon and find myself staring off to infinity. The ocean laps at the sand here, rather than roars. I am in my happy place.
Good night moon.
Our first night in the tent was blissful. We got up to shoot the first light of morning over the Pacific at the duney beach of Nehalem Bay and then went back to sleep for another hour or so, before heading off
Back, to the beginning: Edmonton to Sunriver.
You'll find the full set of images from our few days in Oregon by clicking the gallery image below. Let me know what you think!