hoʻomaka i ka huakaʻi….

On Tuesday, June 18th the drive that I made from Corvallis to Cannon Beach was the farthest distance and longest time I have ever gone in a car by myself. If you are sitting in your car for hours back home on Oʻahu, it is not because of distance but because of traffic. The journey was exhilarating and a familiar playlist made the drive less scary. Any remaining anxiety was relinquished when I accepted that I would not be there in 3 hours due to traffic and areas where the speed limit was 35 mph. Though I passed many coffee shops and antique stores, I did not stop. The further I got, the more an overwhelming feeling of gratitude towards my Dad and Stepmom welled up in me, as I would not be experiencing such freedom without the car they lent me.

The view from the porch at my first residence in Astoria.

After arriving at Cannon Beach City Hall and getting set up in the office, Lisa took me down to the beach so I would know where to go the next morning for the beach shift. What surprised me was that I was not that cold. I have never been on the Oregon Coast before — that was the first time my feet touched sand in a week. The beach was so wide and the sand was so fine, I could immediately feel the difference between the quartz grains been my toes and the calcareous sand that I am used to. Though I wanted to stay and explore, my na’au (intestines, also gut, like gut-feeling) reminded me that I had not eaten in 5 hours and I would soon be dancing on the edge of hangry. Luckily my “work” day ended upon returning from the beach and I was free to go to the Farmer’s Market, which happens every Tuesday, to get some of the fish tacos I had already heard so much about before journeying on to Astoria where I would be staying for the rest of the week.

My first housemates…

As I continued north on the 101, the dependence of the area on visitors became apparent. Services and amenities that cater to tourists line the main highway and many signs announced camping sites. Astoria seems to capture many of the iconic features of the Pacific Northwest. Foggy, overcast and by the sea, it was difficult to not fall in love with the ambiance of the area. Over the weekend, I was able to attend the Scandanavian Midsummer Festival and experience some of the “local” culture. Tried pickled herring for the first and went back for a second helping. My stay in Astoria was short lived, however I plan on returning when I make the drive to Longview Washington to visit my paternal grandmother.

The five countries represented at the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival in Astoria.

My new lodging in Cannon Beach is incredibly close to work and Haystack Rock. I spied a beach access on my walk to Fresh Foods (to get what was probably the best strawberry rhubarb pie I have ever had — its the lard in the crust that really makes it!) and decided to check it out. From the beach access I could see Haystack Rock and thought “I can walk that far.” I was right — it only took 35 minutes and that was with stopping to take pictures of mole crab babies eating their parents and a decaying common murre. While I am staying so close to work, I will be walking to and from the office everyday for a morning and afternoon kilo (observation), respectively. These observations will provide material for my next blog, so stayed tuned to learn more about what washes ashore in the wrack line!

Gull foot prints above the high tide line.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

One thought on “hoʻomaka i ka huakaʻi….

  1. Sounds like the Scandinavian Festival is not to be missed (though I have to admit that I’m not really very tempted to try pickled herring :). Awesome that you can walk to and from work by way of the beach, not a bad commute! Especially if you get some interesting data out of it at the same time. I’ll be curious to hear your impressions about Hawaii vs. Oregon coastal tourism and its impacts…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.