Thursday, June 11, 2015

Cannon Beach and Camp 18

The Camp 18 elephant.
We took a quick day trip to Cannon Beach and stopped on the way at Camp 18.  I actually just wanted to see the mysterious elephant which lurks in the woods behind the restaurant!  It took us a while to find it, but it was worth the effort.  Because now we've "seen the elephant"!  Camp 18 took us by surprise because it has tons of old logging equipment, and I do mean tons, festooned all around the property for exploration.  Also there were some nature trails with pretty wildflowers all in bloom. Of course, most people come for the restaurant, which is of a log cabin construction with antler chandeliers, axes for door handles, etc.  Camp indeed!  We didn't find our meal to be anything spectacular but loved the atmosphere. 

We went on to Cannon Beach in the hopes of seeing the famous nesting puffins on Haystack Rock. There are volunteers posted there at pretty much every daytime low tide who are quite knowledgeable about the birds and the tidepool animals,  and this is often heralded as a superior spot for tidepooling on the Oregon coast.  When we arrived (for an evening low tide) we quickly determined that there were only gulls on the rock.  A volunteer explained that a bald eagle had chased the puffins away, and she said if we really wanted to see puffins we would have to be there closer to dawn.  We were disappointed, but it was a lovely day for the beach.  This is a very popular beach, being an easy drive from Portland on 26. The tidepools could easily be damaged and the nesting birds disturbed by hoards of curious tourists.  Stationing volunteers at Haystack Rock and spreading the word that this is a superior tidepooling spot must be a huge win-win for Cannon Beach.  It simultaneously protects the wildlife and encourages visitors.  But we didn't find it truly to be a supreme spot for tidepooling.  My advice would be to head here for the lovely beach and consider tidepooling somewhere further from the beaten path, with a good understanding of tidepool etiquette that you know you will follow even when no one is watching!
Redwood sorrel.
Salmonberry.
Tall bluebells.
Piggyback plant.
Trillium.
Haystack rock.
By-the-wind sailor.  These animals have been washing up on west coast beaches by the billions this year.  Each one looks like a single animal but is actually a colony, and they are sadly subjected to the whims of prevailing winds. 
Little anemones.

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