New Year's Day is usually spent on the mountain skiing. But last year's skimpy snowpack kept me away. Not wanting to waste the day off, I loaded up my dog and camera and headed to the coast. It ended up being a great trip, and I came home with a memory card full of gorgeous photos.
|Blue skies for a new year|
Fast forward to NYD 2015. Although I wanted to hit the slopes, I couldn't. My foot still out of commission from October's surgery, skiing wasn't yet an option. But, I'd finally been given the okay to drive. After sitting home for over two months, I was chomping at the bit to go somewhere. Why not visit the beach?
|Tracks in the sand|
So I once again packed up camera and dog and pointed my car west. Although I experienced some swelling, my foot did good during the hour's drive. Looking for a nice, flat walk (both for my foot and Bear's ailing hips) I decided to park at Tolovana Beach, located on the south end of Cannon Beach.
|Some horses enjoying the day|
New Year's Day 2015 weather was a polar opposite of the previous year. Instead of clouds and rain, I was greeted with gorgeous blue skies. Although temps were a wee bit chilly, I didn't mind in the least. I was just happy to finally go someplace!
|Perfect sea stack reflections|
Bear and I gimped out of the car and headed towards the water. The beach was nothing short of spectacular. Waves sparkled in the sunshine. Sea stacks reflected in the wet sand. A retreating tide created a nice wide beach, perfect for walking. Glimpsing Haystack Rock, a large sea stack, in the distance, I decided to amble towards it.
|Good doggie reflections too!|
The beach was a busy place. There were lots of families with kids, couples strolling hand in hand, dogs running and sniffing - even a group of horseback riders!
|Trying out my new selfie pole|
One of my after-Christmas purchases was a selfie pole. Mainly to use with my new GoPro camera, I discovered my point and shoot also fit it's mounts. Walking towards Haystack Rock, I amused myself with self portrait attempts. I'm sure I looked totally goofy to the other folks (see that wacky lady trying to take pictures of herself?) But I had fun trying to capture the perfect selfie. Yeah, this was my best one. As you can tell, I need a bit more practice!
After passing the crowds near the parking lot, I let Bear off leash so he could run. In the past, he's been real good about staying close. But old age must be working on my dog's brain, (he just turned 13) because Bear wandered far ahead of me.
I hollered for Bear to come back, but between the wave noise, and my dog being hard of hearing, he didn't respond. Although fairly mobile by then, I still walked with a limp, and wasn't very fast. Great! If Bear got into mischief, I couldn't go running after him.
|Lots of wave action!|
I was almost to Haystack Rock, when I finally caught up with my doggie. A popular place, it attracted lots of beach walkers. Due to the large number of people here, I decided it would be best to put Bear back on his leash.
|Silhouettes on the beach|
Of course, Bear was less than thrilled to be tethered again. And for me, it was kind of a pain to take photos with a dog pulling at my arm. But at least I'd keep him out of trouble.
|Happy 2015 from Bear!|
Around the base of Haystack Rock photo subjects abounded. Waves crashed into the rocks, and rushed onto the beach. I spent half my time trying to capture a good splash. A few nearby tidepools held spiky anemones. Nearby sea stacks reflected in the wet sand. And of course, people watching was first rate.
|Peaceful beach scene|
Haystack Rock is the largest of Cannon Beach's sea stacks. Measuring 235 feet above the sand, this giant basalt monolith is a local landmark. Many varieties of birds nest in it's crevices, and tidepools at it's base teem with interesting sea creatures.
|Love the sand patterns|
I was happy I'd made it all the way to the big rock, a half mile in distance. But all this walking came at a price. My foot was starting to swell quite alarmingly. This wasn't good - I still had to walk the same distance back.
|Bear takes a breather|
Realizing I'd probably already overdone it, I tore myself away from Haystack Rock and it's many photo subjects, and began a slow slog to the car.
|Can you spot the surfers?|
Of course, the return trip wasn't delayed solely by an angry foot. Lots of great subjects caught my eye on the way back too.
|Seagulls looking for food|
There were seagulls looking for food at water's edge. Interesting sand patterns. Fading afternoon light casting unusual shadows. A group of surfers walking along the crashing waves. Footprints in the beach leading somewhere.
|Hoofprints in the sand|
And of course, lots of sweeping vistas.
|Heading back to the car|
Late afternoon light illuminated the wet sand to a lovely shade of blue.
|Looking back at where we'd been|
Although the gorgeous photo ops were a good distraction from an aching foot, I was relieved when the parking lot, and my car, finally came into view. After all that walking, my foot felt the size of a watermelon. Wanting to calm things down before the long ride home, I elevated it by propping my leg on a car door. I sat in position for a long time.
|The sun is starting to go down|
But nature started to call, and I decided a potty break would be a good idea before heading home. So I lowered my still-angry foot, and limped over to the ladies room.
|Haystack Rock engulfed in golden light|
The restrooms were conveniently located right next to the beach. Exiting the building, I noticed the sinking sun was bathing everything in a lovely golden glow. Oh wow! Sore foot or not, I had to get my camera!
|Waiting for sunset|
I hastily hobbled back to the car. While retrieving my camera, Bear gave me a funny look, as if to say "aren't we leaving now?" I left him in the car, and took off for the beach as fast as my aching foot would let me.
|Great way to start 2015!|
In those final five minutes, I got my best photos of the day. Standing on the walkway above the sand, I fired away at everything in sight. The light was nothing short of spectacular. Sky, water and sand glowed a rich golden color. As the sun slowly sank below the clouds, it gave one last burst of shining light. Such a magical moment.
A perfect end to the first day of 2015.
Sharing with: Saturday's Critters and Weekend Reflections and 52 Photos Project.