Scenes from Northern Oregon

We visited Seaside, Oregon again this year and stayed in a hotel right on the beach. The sunsets were gorgeous viewed from the balcony. I also took a solo walk on the beach and for the first time, got my feet wet in the Pacific. The weather was warm and sunny, in the 70's, which is really nice for late September in Oregon. My sons played on the beach and built sand castles several times and loved it. We were in our t-shirts and it still felt like summer.

Seaside is a great home base for exploring the surrounding area. Astoria, which is 14 miles north, is a city on the Columbia River and is always fun to explore. When our boys were three or so, we checked out the Astoria Column but they were still a little small to climb the 164 steps to the top by themselves. This year they turned five and were all set to climb. They ended up loving all of the stairs and didn't get tired. The view from the top is very pretty, especially if you like water and bridges, like they do.

On another sunny and beautiful afternoon, we headed seven miles south to Cannon Beach. After playing at one of the playgrounds we decided to drive to Ecola State Park. The views up there are unmatched and some of the best in Oregon. You can also see Tillamook Lighthouse from there. We got really lucky and saw a whale swimming around the lighthouse. It was really far away and none of us had binoculars. I was only working with my 50mm lens, so I wasn't able to capture much. But we knew the whale was there and could see the splashes of water. How exciting!

Oregon has a special place in my heart because when I was ten my family and I lived in Crater Lake National Park. My dad worked for Glacier National Park in Montana and they needed someone temporarily in Crater Lake for about ten months. So our family had an adventure in Oregon! We had never been there before and suddenly, we had a new place to live, a new school to attend, and an entire state to explore. My brother and I had never seen the ocean, so what a feeling to pull up in Bandon, OR and hear the loud crash of the waves. That feeling never went away and I still get excited when I hear the waves and see the gorgeous water. Oregon is rustic and has an untouched beauty no other place has.

The beach in Seaside has a real vacation feel to it. The hotels, beach houses, and restaurants line the Promenade, a one and a half mile long walkway (to the very left in the photo).
Located in the middle of the Promenade is the turn-around for the cars coming from Broadway St. A large American flag waves proudly.
A biker crosses Broadway St. in Seaside.
I used my zoom lens to capture this beach scene from our balcony. I noticed the houses, or apartments, sitting on the cliff and was wondering what kind of views they have.
The Astoria Column stands proudly at 125 feet tall.
The column was built in 1926. It was designed after the Trajan Column in Rome.  
The views are worth climbing all those steep stairs.
The Columbia River was looking nice on the day we visited the Column.
This bridge is the longest in North America. Named the Astoria-Megler Bridge, it opened 52 years ago. The bridge connects Washington to Oregon. Pretty cool!
The cost to visit the Astoria Column is $5. Just pay the attendant when you enter the parking lot and you'll get a pass good for one year. And don't forget to buy an airplane for a buck and fly it from the tower!
Some views from the base of the column looking from the other side.
A sunset in Seaside.
The sun is about to say goodbye for the day and drop behind the horizon line in Seaside.
And there it goes....
Tillamook Rock Lighthouse seen from Ecola State Park. The whale is to the top right of the lighthouse. This was the view we had, just small splashes being viewed. I am able to zoom in though on the image and see the whale's shape.  
The iconic view from Ecola State Park.
Another shot, I couldn't resist...
And another, because I wanted to zoom in a little.
One last shot, to zoom in on the rustic rock formations Oregon is famous for. Especially Haystack Rock, in the back.
And one last shot of Seaside, after the sun went down and the lights came on. Its time to party? No, its bedtime.  I have little kids!


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