Last Friday when temperatures were predicted to hit 92 in Portland I thought I’d hit the road and go to the beach. It was going to be a rare 84 at Cannon beach and I wanted to get some photos from Ecola State park looking south down the beach toward Haystack Rock. All was well as I rolled into Astoria at the northern tip of the State. It was the warmest morning I had ever experienced in Astoria. I didn’t stay long because I wanted to reach Hug Point at low tide which was to occur at 1:00.
Heading South along 101 under gorgeous bright blue skies I knew this was going to be a good day. I arrived at Hug Point about 30 minutes before low tide, or so I thought. I checked the online tide tables and I should have had plenty of time to walk along the old highway that is cut into the cliffs. Before 101 was constructed people used to drive on the beaches and along this stretch the cars drove on a road cut into the rocks. I’ve been wanting to walk along this route, but you HAVE to be there in low tide as the access is quickly erased under water and you can become stranded. I left my car sitting in the sun, but what was this? As soon as I could see the sand I also saw the fog. It was moving fast so I felt it would burn off soon. Then I get to the old road and I see people trying to return to the beach and the water is already covering part of the road. I looked at my watch and I still had 30 minutes to low tide so I told them to stay put and soon they’d be able to get off the rocks. Then the guy tells me low tide was at 12:30. WHAT? I looked at my iPhone Tides App and it said 1:30. OHOH, I think the internet was on a different time. DARN. I am not going to be able to walk the old highway this trip. Since the fog is still sitting close to the water I decide to move on to Cannon beach.
I seldom go to Cannon. I like it, but it is always crowded with tourists. Parking is a problem so I usually just park in the residential area. As I am driving north to return to the area I see the fog rolling in. Keep calm, it is supposed to be a gorgeous sunny afternoon. I arrive in the little town which is full of shops and restaurants and first visit my favorite quilt shop on the coast. The sky is blue, life is good. I walk toward the path to take me to the beach and I notice the whole beach area is in a white-out. Seriously, I can’t even see the water. And where is Haystack Rock? I can’t find it. This stinks, but I am still thinking it will blow off. I’m hungry, so I decide to go have a bowl of clam chowder(a must when I go to the coast) and then return to the beach.
My chowder was great but the veggies on my salad look like they were kept in a freezer. The edges have that translucent freeze look. Do I complain? NO. Nothing is going to ruin this day. I am planning to stay for sunset and this is going to be great. I go back outside, it’s warm. The temperature is near 80. The skies are blue……..until……until…I reach the beach. FOG. FOG. FOG. I still can’t see the water. Where are all the people? They are trying to make the best of it. It’s warm, but the sun completely blocked by the fog…..and I still can’t see Haystack Rock.
I decide to go to Ecola State Park. ( For film buffs, this is where scenes in the movie ‘Goonies’ were shot) It sits high above the beach and so I might be able to get a cool photo of the fog sitting on the ocean. HA! I soon find that I can’t even see the ocean.
How can the beach be shrouded in fog, but when you step 200 yards off the sand the fog doesn’t exist and the skies are blue. I’ve had enough. there won’t be a beautiful sunset. I’m going home. So I head north again along 101 to reach the on-ramp to 26 and my route back to Portland. On my way home I notice this beautiful field of sunflowers. Not a bad end to a slightly disappointing day. I still had fun and managed a few interesting photos, just not what I had hoped for.