Posts Tagged ‘Cannon Beach’

Rainforest at Cannon Beach

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

rainforest-at-cannon-beachWe hiked through a rainforest at Cannon Beach, and it was beautiful! We were at Ecola State Park, where we could see breathtaking views from the side of the mountain. The park is right beside the beach itself. The air is humid, and the greenery from the moss and ferns is so vibrant! Take a look at this massive tree with lots of greenery growing on top of its huge branches!

rainforest-2The sunlight shone through the trees to give the path an almost green glow. We saw a fallen tree with moss growing on it. Some of the trees were hundreds of years old.

rainforestWe parked our car in one of the two parking lots and hiked up to the lighthouse lookout, where the lighthouse was still quite far away. The trail was two miles, so the entire hike was four miles. The scenery was beautiful the whole time. You could look down over Cannon Beach for a while until you were around the side of the mountain.

rainforest-cannon-beachIf I had been alone with some paper and a pencil, I might have sat down and written some poetry. Look at this path… Doesn’t it make you feel inspired?

forest-pathMy daughter and I began counting rings on the tree trunk to see how old the tree was when it fell. This gave us an indication for how old the thicker trees were.

tree-ringsWe found lots of mushrooms during our walk. Mushrooms thrive in damp environments, so I was not surprised. These mushrooms looked almost cartoon-like!

mushroom-1Some of the varieties I had never seen before. I would have brought a mushroom guide if I had known we were going to see so many varieties of mushroom.

mushroom-2Some were growing straight out of the tree trunks. These are called shelf mushrooms.

mushroom-3This shelf mushroom looks like blackened lava from a volcano!

mushroom-4My husband took this picture from a low angle so that you can see how small you feel among such tall trees.

forestSo many beautiful scenes presented themselves as we climbed the mountain. Here is a scene from Cannon Beach that includes Haystack Rock.

views-from-cannon-beach-rainforestThen you see partial views of the ocean and seashore through the trees .

view-of-cannon-beachMany rocks jut out of the water. One of the larger rocks has a hole through it.

rocks-in-waterWe thoroughly enjoyed hiking through the rainforest at Cannon Beach!

Find out what else we did while we were at Cannon Beach: Our Cannon Beach Vacation

Tide Pools of Cannon Beach

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

tide-pools-of-cannon-beachThe tide pools of Cannon Beach were beautiful. Here are some pictures we took on our recent vacation to Cannon Beach. You have to look up the tides of Cannon Beach in order to find out when the low tides are, so that you can find the tide pools. There are no tide pools at high tide because the ocean is covering the area. It’s only when the tides retreat and leave behind pockets of water that you will find beautiful creatures residing in their midst.

tide-pools-of-cannon-beach-4If you go to Haystack Rock (the triangular rock jutting out of the water), you will find the best tide pools there. We went at three different times of the day, and there is a big difference in what you see. When we went in the afternoon, there were lots of people, and it was hard to find even one sea star. We finally found one, and after half an hour at the tide pools, we had located about five sea stars in total. There were lots of anemones and hermit crabs.

tide-pools-of-cannon-beach-2The second time we went was in the early morning around 6am, which is a much better time to go. Not very many people were there. We saw a large crab and many other creatures we hadn’t seen the previous afternoon. Best of all, we saw maybe 50 different sea stars, all hugging each other and overlapping sometimes. It was beautiful. Up on the rock you could see puffins nesting, if you looked closely with binoculars. I’ve always loved puffins, so this was a nice surprise.

barnacles-at-cannon-beachThe sides of the rocks were covered with barnacles and other shellfish. The rocks were alive, as you could hear them clicking shut. My son saw a couple of mussels opened, and he touched them before they retreated into their shell and snapped shut like a Vanus Flytrap!

tide-pools-of-cannon-beach-3Here is my daughter picking up a hermit crab. She liked the hermit crab to walk along her hand. After playing with it for a while, she placed it back into the water.

hermit-crab-cannon-beachKelp covered a lot of the rocks as well. In the early morning, you could pull back the kelp like a curtain to find crabs, fish, and other sea creatures that were hiding from the light.

kelp-of-cannon-beachMy husband went to the tide pools at 3am one night when he couldn’t sleep, and he said the tide pools were spectacular! He saw enormous sea stars that were two feet across. He saw crabs that scurried away when he shone his flashlight on them. The colors were beautiful as he shone his flashlight on the sea creatures in the tide pools in the middle of the night. Unfortunately my husband didn’t take a camera with him, and the tide pools themselves were an unexpected surprise.


As we sat around the campfire one night, my son Stephen wanted to hear more about the tide pools in the middle of the night. My husband’s description seemed incredible, and we wished we had another night in which to grab flashlights and explore the tide pools when they were thriving with so much life!


How to Build a Sand Castle

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014


We saw sand castles on Cannon Beach as we were walking to the tide pools, so we snapped pictures of some of them. I have always loved sand castles! The best ones have a specific method for why they hold together so well. Here are some tips to building a sand castle, followed by a fun video showing each of these steps.

How to Build a Sand Castle

Step 1: Carve a circle, build a trench, and dump the sand in the middle of the circle.

Carve a circle with a shovel in the sand, the area where you want to build your sand castle. (You could make a square or rectangle instead if you want, like the picture above.) Then start digging a trench at the circle line, piling the sand in the middle of the circle in a big heap.


Step 2: Get buckets of water, and dump them into the middle of the sand pile.

You need lots and lots of water, so go back and forth from the water to the sand circle, dumping the water in the middle.


Step 3: Build the castle mountain, from which you will carve the castle.

The woman in the video used a large bottomless bucket to build the main part of her castle, but most of us don’t have that. Instead, you can just build up a mountain of wet sand, packing it down tight as you go, because you will want to carve it next.

Step 4: Carve the castle.

Carve the shape of the castle little by little, starting at the top and moving down. You can add stairs, windows, castle turrets, and other details. Use a simple table knife if you don’t have sand sculpting supplies. You can also use buckets filled with wet sand, turned upside-down.


Step 5: Add the final details.

Add bridges and carve the shape of bricks into the walls of the castle. You can get as elaborate as you want. Then stand back and admire your work.

sand-castle-bridgeHere is a fantastic video I found on how to build a sand castle, using each of these steps:

We saw a Lord of the Rings sand castle as we were walking along. My husband and sons thought the Mountains of Mordor were super cool!

lord-of-the-rings-sand-castleHere is a closer picture from above the Lord of the Rings sand castle, showing more of the terrain:

lord-of-the-rings-sandcastle-2We thoroughly enjoyed these sand castles! Every June there is a sand castle contest where even more spectacular sand castles are built!

Related product: The Wonderful World of Sand and Dirt

Cannon Beach Vacation

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

cannon-beach-vacationWe just got back from our first beach vacation as a family, a Cannon Beach vacation! I loved the wide sandy seashores with the waves crashing against the sand. The iconic triangular Haystack Rock looks beautiful in the mornings covered with mist.

cannon-beach-cottageThis was our temporary cottage, two blocks from the beach. It was a miracle how we were able to book this on such short notice. It was as if God reserved this place just for us. It reminds me of the times I went to Panajachel as a kid (as a missionary kid in Guatemala). We would play games and look at the water and be disconnected from electronics.

cannon-beachI woke up each morning and had coffee on the front porch while spending time in prayer. The porch faced a couple of cottages with flowers. There was a huge tree in the yard across the street, and I would see blue jays, goldfinches, and hummingbirds as I sat in prayer before the Lord.

cannon-beach-2My kids always woke up earlier than I did. My husband sometimes couldn’t sleep, so he would sleep in the latest. One night he got up and walked along the beach. He stumbled upon gorgeous tide pools with gigantic star fish at 3 in the morning. I’ll talk about the tide pools in a separate blog post, since we took lots of pictures.

cannon-beach-3My kids would play games, make a puzzle, or build card houses while they waited for Alan and I to wake up. Then we would go to the beach, where we dug a huge hole, built forts, and flew a kite. I enjoyed sitting and reading a book about spiritual warfare. There was a juxtaposition between what I was reading and the peaceful ocean scene, but it gave me new insight to understand many events from the past few months. Spiritual warfare is all about fighting deception. It’s interesting how it all boils down to that.

building-card-housesThe kids buried themselves in the sand. I’m not sure why anybody would want to do that, but here they are. When we walked down the beach to look at tide pools one afternoon, we saw lots of sand castles, which I will post in another blog post. Apparently Cannon Beach has an annual sand castle contest in June, and the sand castles are even more detailed.


One afternoon we hiked through a rainforest and saw some beautiful scenery. I’ll do a separate blog post on that, since we got so many great pictures of the rainforest and the beach from above. (The three ocean pictures above were taken from the vantage point of the rainforest, where you have to climb part of a mountain.)

We found lots of jellyfish. This was the largest one we saw, about the size of two hands. We also collected sea shells and small rocks, and I might make a collage out of them and post it on my blog later.


The kids were wanting to play games, so here we are playing Settlers of Catan. The game went on much longer than it should have because of all the sheep jokes.

playing-gamesThe sunsets on the beach were beautiful. On a couple of the nights, Alan built a fire on the beach. You are allowed to do that, as long as you follow the rules. We dug a small hole in the sand and built our fire.

sunset-at-cannon-beachWe ate some s’mores with marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers. We looked out over the ocean that reminded me of the majesty of God.

fire-in-firepitI sang some hymns to the Lord while the kids giggled and chewed on their s’mores. This was truly a vacation to remember!