Wednesday morning we got up early and were on highway 26 to Cannon Beach by nine o’clock. The weather was chilly, grey, and almost rainy.
As usual, the trip west really started once we went through the Vista Ridge tunnel. This is a tunnel that actually goes under a neighborhood in the west hills, and whenever we go through it, I wonder how the folks in that lovely and very expensive neighborhood feel about living above a major freeway.
The city of Portland ends pretty abruptly once we passed the hills, because of the urban growth boundary. Other, smaller towns, like Beaverton, have grownup, but Portland doesn’t spread out. I like that. Having watched Southern California become one giant suburb, I am happy to see a bit of country green between cities.
Once we had passed the open fields and headed up into the Coastal Range of mountains, we pulled over at a rest stop, and I got my first history lesson
This historical marker tells of The Tillamook Burn, which was actually four fires between 1933 and 1939. They were all caused by logging accidents and, in the midst of the Great Depression, cost Oregon over 13 billion board feet of lumber. The lumber industry, like so many others, had been left to “police itself”, and it had not gone well.
The Tillamook Burn led to regulations on how trees are taken and what sort of equipment can be used, which has made logging safer.
Just behind the sign was a delightfully gurgling stream, a branch of Wolf Creek. It was mysterious and shady, and on a warmer day I would have been tempted to stick my feet in and hang out with the woods for a while. But the chill and damp discouraged such shenanigans, and we continued west.
We passed Camp 18 and the Elderberry Cafe, where we have stopped for lunch on other trips, but we were anxious to get to the beach. We found parking and grabbed coats, hats and towels, getting in sight of the ocean just as quickly as we could.
We all inhaled, filling ourselves up with salty air. It felt like home. I will tell you more about our adventure tomorrow!