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|Checking out the surf|
Today's weather wasn't the best. It was your typical February day in Oregon - cloudy with showers. What to do on such a gray day? Why, head to the coast!
|Bear enjoying the sea air|
We packed up the dog and headed to Cannon Beach. A mere hour's drive, it's the closest ocean access from our home.
|The waves made cool sand patterns|
Once out of the car, Bear made a quick dash for the sand. He had a grand time, running up and down the length of the beach, his doggy ears flapping in the wind.
|Bear is ready to play|
I, of course, was busy with my camera. Oregon has the most gorgeous coastline. Steep cliffs, mossy old growth forests, and craggy rocks rising up from the shore. Even on a cloudy day, it was spectacular.
|Making tracks in the sand|
The rain that intermittently pelted our car during the trip over, cleared up upon arrival. Timing is everything!
|What's left of a sand dollar|
It's always interesting to find things embedded in the sand at water's edge. Cannon Beach is one of the more popular places on the coast. Shells and such are discovered quickly, so the beach is usually picked clean. But I happened to spot this half sand dollar sticking out of a wave-eroded hollow.
|Dramatic beach views|
I was hoping to hit the beach at low tide. It's always fun to check out the variety of marine life in tidepools. But the water was starting to rise when we arrived. There was one large rock already inundated that had tons of starfish clinging to it. I really wanted to get some photos of them, but heavy wave action made access impossible. I could only photograph from afar, the sea stars barely visible in my images.
|Sea anemone in a tidepool|
I did spot one tiny tidepool near a group of flat rocks. And hidden in the mud were a bunch of bright red anemones.
|Barnacles encrust the rocks|
The barnacle-encrusted rocks also made interesting photo subjects.
We'd walked along the beach until reaching the farthest distance from our car. It was then Roger noticed a heavy rain cloud heading our way. Time to turn around and hightail it back!
|Scenic, rocky beach|
Halfway to our vehicle, the sky opened up. Rain began pelting our faces. Wet and cold when we reached the parking lot, I noticed Moe's, a local clam chowder restaurant, right next door. Mmmmm.....hot clam chowder! Too good to pass up, we left our wet, smelly dog in the car, and went to lunch.
|Roger tries to capture the elk with his phone|
Hot clam chowder always hits the spot! After filling our bellies, it was time to head home. On the way back, I spotted a sign for an elk viewing area near the town of Jewell. Intrigued, I asked Roger if he minded making a detour.
After a short drive down a winding, mountain road we came to a lovely clearing. Since it was mid-afternoon, I didn't think we'd see any elk. I thought they only came out in early morning and late evening. But upon arrival, I was pleasantly surprised. An entire field was chock-full - elk of every shape and size. I've never seen so many elk in one place, ever. Cool! I instantly regretted not bringing my big zoom lens. Oh well, feeling privileged to witness this impressive sight, I reasoned it was a good way to end our day trip.
Although I love skiing, it was nice to go somewhere entirely different. That's the great thing about Oregon - you can always find something fun to do, even on a rainy day.
Linking to: Share Your Cup Thursday.