Cannon Beach RV Park site #84 Pull Through
April 14 – April 22, 2018
This park had it all; an indoor pool, hot tub, playground, basketball court, pool table and arcade. Bonus, it’s a bike ride away from Cannon Beach and Haystack rock. The girls meet some kids on the weekends and played for hours at the pool.
We chose this spot to stay because of it’s closeness to Haystack Rock and Astoria.
Haystack Rock is the unofficial symbol of Cannon Beach. You might recognize it from the Goonies movie. North of Cannon Beach is a town called Astoria where they did the rest of the filming for this movie. We visited there as well. We watched the movie this week before arriving. It’s no wonder they have filmed so many movies along this coast.
Cannon Beach is dog and fire pit friendly.
Haystack rock is composed of basalt and is the result of lava flows millions of years ago. It is part of the Oregon Islands Nat’l Wildlife refuge and the tide pools surrounding it is a protected Marine Garden. They are actually trying to change the name of Marine Garden because that name makes people think they can ‘pick’ the wildlife. The tide pools are so fragile filled with so much marine life. At low tide, you can walk right up to it and find so many colorful fascinating sea creatures.
Haystack Rock Awareness Program helps educate, protect and preserve the wildlife on the rock and surrounding tide pools. They are on the beach, wearing red jackets, from February through October, ready to answer your questions and point things out to you.
The day I arrived I found out about this amazing program and emailed the director to see if they were doing anything to celebrate Earth Day (April 20th) and if we could volunteer with anything while in town for the week.
Lisa Habecker, the education coordinator emailed me back immediately and offered to give the girls and I a private field trip. This aligned perfectly with our Earth Science lesson Oceanography that I started in northern California. We met her at the beach on Wednesday morning and she gave us a two hour field trip around the rock at low tide. We volunteered for the remainder of the week. Friday was a community event to celebrate the arrival of the Puffin’s. A group of Kindergarteners had a field trip planned so the girls volunteered to set up, help with the stations and clean up afterward. Abby wants to be a marine biologist now. It’s fun to see the girls change their career choices so often based on the new things they are exposed to. The world is their oyster.
We were here during one of several annual minus tide weeks so that was a real treat. The animals in the intertidal zone can survive out of water twice a day during these low tides. We studied Mussels, Barnacles, chitons, sea stars, anemones and nudibranchs (sea slugs).
The Rock is a nesting place for Black Oystercatchers, Cormorants, Tufted Puffins, and Common Murres. We were able to identify all of these with the naked eye and get close up views with the binoculars they let us borrow. Of course there are hungry predators as well. We were able to witness a peregrine falcons and bald eagles visit the rock for breakfast. On the second day there Mackenzie caught the Bald Eagle on camera with a Common Murre in his talons followed by a western gull.
We were featured in their newsletter. Check it out here.
This is absolutely one of our highlights of this adventure! If you are ever in the area, you should definitely check it out!! Donate your time and money to this great cause.
The Tufted puffins spend the winters hundreds of miles on the open ocean then in spring they return to the same nesting site where they reunite (yes they winter separately) with their life long mate. They lay one egg and care for and teach it all summer.
Millions of small, jellyfish-like creatures known as “by-the-wind sailors” have washed ashore all along the west coast of North America this summer, from southern California to British Columbia. They are called Velella velella. The electric-blue sails covering the sand is a sight to see. They are harmless to humans.
The Oregon Film museum is located north in the city of Astoria. It has all things Goonies. We even had a chance to film our own movies with all their equipment.
If you visit this column with the history of Astoria wrapped around it, buy a wooden airplane for $1 at the gift shop before climbing the 164 steps to the top lookout. When you get to the top, watch your airplane soar down 125 feet.
We drove to a water front brewery I had read about on Yelp. It was called Bouy Beer. They have a see -through floor to see Sea Lions in the lobby. The day we visited Astoria was actually the same day we visited Fort Clatsop. We went to the National Park in the morning and explored the visitors center, took a hike and earned a junior ranger badge (see below for more on this). On our way out we were talking to the ranger and chatted with a family from Washington with two girls. We mentioned needing to leave to go eat lunch and they said they were doing the same. We told them where we were headed and to our surprise they arrived shortly after us and were seated at the table next to us. So fun!
The Astoria-Megler Bridge It’s over 4 miles and is the longest truss bridge in the US and 2nd longest in the world. It connects Oregon and Washington.The first 3 miles of it belongs to Oregon and the remaining mile belongs to Washington. You pass the state border as you drive across it. We drove over it, just because we could:)
Lewis and Clarke National and State Historical Park
Fort Clatsop National Park
Back home in Georgia the girls learned all about Lewis and Clarke’s expedition in first grade and as they were older they were asked to help part of a big reenactment day by dressing up and running a station. Now they get to actually see the end of the trail and the fort they built and lived in during the winter.
The girls earned their Presidential Junior Ranger Patches and Certificates today.
End of the trail in Seaside
Lewis and Clarke ran out of salt by the end of their journey West so they had to collect sea water and boil it off to collect the salt for the journey home.
Site of the Saltworks
Fort Stevens State Park is park of the Lewis and Clarke National and State Park
I had this on the list of to dos because I read about an old shipwreck that you could walk up to during low tide. What a fun surprise to drive up to this beach and find out we could drive on it! I haven’t done that since Daytona Beach. Fort Stevens was an American military installation that guarded the mouth of the Columbia River. Built near the end of the American Civil War, it was active from 1863–1947.They have a neat Battery to check out as well.
The Peter Iredale was a steel ship that ran ashore in 1906, on the Oregon coast en route to the Columbia River. She was abandoned about four miles south of the Columbia River channel. The wreckage is one of the most accessible shipwrecks of the Graveyard of the Pacific.
Driving on Beach
Ecola State Park
This area was name Ecola by Lewis and Clarke after the Chinook Indian word from whale, “ekoli.” There are great views of Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach and Crescent Beach from a look out here.
Indian Beach, located in Ecola State Park, is a filming location for Goonies, Twilight and Point Break movies.
We went on a fun hike down to a dessert beach, we may or may not have been allowed down on that beach.
Tillamook Rock Lighthouse
You can see this lighthouse off the coast. It was lit in 1881 and decommissioned in 1957. It is located 1.2 miles offshore. It was built to guide ships around the Tillamook Head but the waves turned out to be so dangerous that it was nicknamed “Terrible Tilly.” The lighthouse keepers would have to do 40 days on and 20 days off to remain sane. After it was decommissioned, it was a columbarium- a place to store burial urns. It is privately owned now, the urns are still there along with nesting sea birds. There is no public access but you can see it from this state park.
Indian beach was a great location to see Elk. Their were about 20 Roosevelt elk grazing during dusk as we were leaving the parking lot.
To celebrate the anniversary of owning a Jeep I found a fun trail in the Tillamook Forest to go off roading. The Cedar Tree Trail is one of the 49 trails Jeep has designated as part of their Badge of Honor Program. The girls and I had fun but almost got lost looking for the trail head. We drove around for 45 minutes searching for it. We even ran into another Jeep looking for it as well. He was low on gas and had to give up the search. As it turns out, we kept going down that road and found it. The views were amazing and it had a fallen Cedar Tree that they Jeep squeezed through. I can’t wait to get my badge in the mail.
Tillamook Cheese Factory
The Tillamook Cheese Factory is near here on the coast but we did not visit it because they were renovating so we couldn’t do the whole tour. Cheese is a big thing out here. The damp conditions make great vegetation for the cows which in turn makes great cheese. Tillamook Cheese is in all the grocery stores here, often the only cheese brand.
I could live here if it wasn’t so cold and windy all year! I need 75-85 degrees and sun!
This is the first time we have moved on a Sunday and waited until checkout time to drive out of RV park. We did this so the girls could play with their new friends in the pool one more time. Mackenzie was excited to have a ‘playdate’ scheduled.
The traffic was horrible!