Long Weekends at the Oregon Coast: Childhood, Family, Adventure and Coastal Magic
As I get older, I’m reminded of the importance of collecting beautiful memories and taking every chance to experience something new with the people that I love versus collecting physical gifts. This year for my birthday, I asked for a trip to the Oregon Coast. There is something about the ocean, even in the winter time, that draws me in and instantly makes me feel like I’m a world away. It’s an instant chill pill so to speak. We invited another family, rented an amazing Airbnb in Arch Cape, Oregon, and waited with angst or the weekend to arrive.
My birthday is in January, so I didn’t have high hopes for having any sort of decent weather in the middle of winter (Oregon, ya know) but Mother Nature gave me her own amazing gift- the gift of a rare, unseasonably warm weekend….65 degrees to be exact with no rain in sight. Our 2 night rental quickly turned into 4 nights as we all fell hard for the beach we frequented, for the starry nights making s’mores, hot-tubbing, and drinking wine – living our best lives so to speak. Relaxed, happy, unplugged and totally free of an agenda.
The Oregon Coast has it’s own unique magic – sun beams that stream through misty forests with ancient trees, dense fog, sunsets in technicolor hues, rocky coastlines that beg to be explored and wondered about. This place has been near and dear to me since I was a child on the opposite coast. I was and still am a huge fan of The Goonies. I have probably watched it 100+ times, knew every word and scene by heart and unknowingly became connected to the Oregon Coast – where the movie takes place. I didn’t see this mysterious and beautiful place until 17 years later when I took a leap of faith to relocate to a part of the country that I fell in love with as a seven year old. It’s a place that always brings me a sense of peace and it’s by far one of my favorite places to capture my own family as well as others. It’s magic tends to rub off on everyone it touches and boy oh boy do I love to capture it!
You see, I am a seeker of everyday magic. I pay attention to the way light dances across the water, the way the clouds swirl and vary from place to place. The way hair lightly brushes against skin or blows softly in the wind. The little intricacies that make each person and moment unique – these are the things I like to collect though my lens and in my mind. In this place, I felt like my mind was wide open to observe and create. The coast put on a show for us over those four days.
These are some of my most prized photographs to date, I hope you enjoy them as much I as I loved making them.
*For your convienence and adventure planning, I’ll include a few links of the places we visited at the end.
Cape Disappointment State Park – so much to see and explore. Be sure to trek down to Dead Man’s Cove (great spot for a picnic on the beach), check out the many abandoned buildings, the lighthouse and hike around one of the many hiking trails.
We spent the majority of our time in Arch Cape, Oregon nestled between the popular Cannon Beach and charming Manzanita. We rented an amazing Airbnb and had access to a lovely, more private local beach. This area seems to be a little less popular from it’s neighbor to the North, Cannon Beach (which we went to for some meals + ice cream with a 10 minute drive). We had the beach to ourselves almost 95% of the weekend. This area is also a bit more forested as it’s within Oswald West State Park home to Short Sands beach (popular with the surfers) and Cape Falcon and Neahkahnie Mountain hiking areas.