solitude retreat to cannon beach, OR

the oregon coast has been one of my favorite places, if not my most favorite place, for as long as i can remember. there's just something about it. maybe it's because it was the first 'real' beach i had ever been to as a kid, and i have so many precious memories with my family playing in the sand at cannon beach, exploring haystack rock at low tide, and eating clam chowder and riding the carousel at seaside. i absolutely love it there, rain or shine, it is my place, and the most beautiful place at that.
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last week i wanted to get away. i wanted to get away from my every day surroundings and people, and just spend quality time with myself. it's important and healthy to be able to be alone with yourself, and not constantly with people to feel okay. i'm guilty of needing people and events to distract me from myself sometimes. but i decided it was time to be alone and enjoy true "me time".
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so i called chelsea and told her "i might be crazy but i'm going to drive 4 and a half hours to the oregon coast by myself for the day". she wasn't shocked, she's driven from virginia to texas by herself! she called it my solitude retreat, my time to be alone, pray, read, and just enjoy myself.

saturday morning i got up early, left my house by 7am just as the sun was rising. my weather app told me it was a high of 55 and sunny, but i would have gone even if it were raining. the weather wasn't what i was going for! i hoped to arrive around 12pm.
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okay, maybe it was bad to take a few photos while driving across the astoria bridge... pretend you didn't know i was the one driving! i love this bridge though, it's incredibly long and connects washington to oregon. whenever i get to this bridge i know i'm almost there! kinda...
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it ended up being a gorgeous, clear and warm day. the tide was out when i arrived and so were tons of people. this view is one of my favorite from the side of the road above some houses. lucky people who live up there have a glorious view!
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i found a perfect parking spot right in the middle of downtown cannon beach [which hasn't changed really at all since i was a kid] and went straight to the beach to explore!
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after exploring i walked around to the shops, ate tillamook ice cream [of course] and sat above the beach watching the people and waves. [also scored this backpack at the pendleton outlet right before getting into cannon beach, i love it!]
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mermaids and knitting...!
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i knew i wanted to go back north to seaside to get my favorite clam chowder at Norma's before watching the sunset from ecola state park [similar view from 'the goonies' of cannon beach!] i don't really care for the beach at seaside, plus downtown is very crowded and busy, so i went specifically for this:
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...and then back to see haystack rock at golden hour. a lot of people had cleared the beach by now, the wind was picking up and i had time to listen to music, journal, and marvel at the beauty of the day.
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i said goodbye to the beach and drove up a long, narrow winding road through the trees. it was just beautiful.
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i have to say the last few hours of my day were the best. i had never been to ecola state park, and i am SO glad i went. it was the most spectacular, breathtaking view i have seen. beats so many views of so many beaches in california and hawaii, in my opinion. next time i want to take the road to indian beach and hike to the actual spot from 'the goonies'.
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it was the most gorgeous sunset from this view, i don't think i need [or can] describe it for you.

as i turned around, there before me was a herd of 16 elk grazing in the dusk light. a sight i had never seen before!
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it was truly the most rejuvenating day i have had in a long time.

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just to show you i was actually there, here's a beach selfie for proof!


i encourage you to take a day for yourself, near or far, to enjoy the company of yourself and your favorite place.


x's + o's
kaitlin elaine