North Oregon Coast Press Trip: Day 4

20 03 2012

Day 4 began with the terrible realization that my camera was no longer recognizing memory cards. I ran through a series of troubleshooting drills that included the purchase of a new memory card, all to no avail. So from this point on, all pictures of the Press Trip are from my camera phone. This day’s lesson would be to always bring a back up camera.

Disheartened by the camera gods but encouraged by the weather, I joined up with the rest of the crew and headed over to the Basket Case; a flower shop that the very next day would be opening an Espresso and Eatery within the store. We were met by shop owner, Debbie Nelson, who provided us with a sneak peak of what people could expect. We were treated to delicious and satisfying granola fruit cups as well as whatever we wanted from the Espresso bar. It was nice to have something healthy yet wholly satisfying for breakfast. Today I would eat healthier. I sipped coffee and perused the gifts and flower arrangements while Debbie told us a bit about Cannon Beach. It was a nice start to the day and eased at least somewhat, the pain of possessing a momentarily useless camera.

The group was then taken down to Cannon Beach proper to visit the tide pools near Haystack Rock. The weather was beautiful and the walk along the beach was a great compliment to the healthy breakfast. Good food, a little exercise, and fresh air had put me in my happy place.

After visiting the tide pools we were taken back into the township of Cannon Beach to visit the shops, eateries, and art galleries of the downtown area. We started at Bruce’s Candy Kitchen where we were treated to a “How to make Salt Water Taffy” demonstration. This was of course, very cool, but the headliner of this show was the old machinery used to make the Taffy. These are the types of machines that only a handful of even exist any more; some of them sporting a list of applicable patents longer than your arm. Then we were given some Taffy to sample. Today I would eat healthier, but I was completely fine with this. It’s rude not to accept a gift.

We were then free to roam before meeting back up at the Coaster Theater for a tour. The ex-roller rink turned Community Theater is wonderfully intimate, and every year produces a full season of shows. Cannon Beach might be a cozy little beach community, but the Coaster Theater draws some major talent to its productions. Actors, actresses, writers, and producers from L.A. to London have contributed their talents to the stage of the Coaster. I’m guessing the opportunity to live in Cannon Beach for a few months might not be bad bait.

Just up the road we stopped in to check out the art at the DragonFire Studio and Gallery. The studio features works from local, regional, and national artists in a variety of mediums. The art there was unique and incredibly vibrant either in color, spirit, or both. Gallery owner Eeva Lantela was enchanting. We shared a quick but wonderful conversation about hikes in the Coast Range before she scurried off to help a gentleman find the right piece for his living room. I hope she makes it up to Saddle Mountain this year.

Lunch on this day was at the Wayfarer, compliments of Martin Hospitality. These are the fine folks that just hours earlier delivered a tailor made Cannon Beach sunset to my deck at the Surfsand Resort. I like them an awful lot. Trying my darndest to keep the day at least semi-healthy, I ordered the Local Rockfish Tacos. They were preceded, however, by Dungeness Crab Cakes and followed by a litany of desserts which we all shared. At this point I decided that eating healthy for an entire day should probably give way to moderation of dessert intake. Just bites.

According to the Itinerary it was now time to “Depart for points south”, which is exactly what we did. We loaded into the van and headed south down the coast, enjoying the drive and the view. It was great to sit and just take in some scenery via the highway. We made short stops along the way at photo ops: Neahkahnie Mountain, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, and Rockaway Beach. If you haven’t visited the Oregon Coast, let it be known that even if you drove the Coast without making any stops, the views from the car window would likely stick with you for the rest of your days. Our last pit stop of the day was at Bar View County Park. Here we walked out to the North Jetty of Tillamook Bay, stretched our legs, took some pictures, and then left for the small town of Garibaldi where we would be staying for the evening.

We pulled into the Garibaldi House Inn & Suites where we were met by Eugene and Carol Tish, owners and proprietors of the Garibaldi House. Eugene is a special dude. I’ll first say that his Inn was great! The Hotel/Bed and Breakfast hybrid has an amazing lobby, large comfortable rooms, an indoor pool and spa, as well as other hotel-style amenities. But they also provide afternoon refreshments and an expansive home cooked breakfast complete with frittatas; just like a B&B.

It also appeared to me that Eugene is the straw that stirs Garibaldi’s drink. In talking to him, he’s very passionate about the Inn and providing a quality place to stay. However, he’s equally passionate about the area, about the hidden gem that is Garibaldi. Eugene gave me a rundown of everything the town and the area have to offer. Honestly, I had driven through the place before without so much as giving it a second thought. It is small, and I was always on my way to someplace else. But after talking with Eugene and experiencing some of the natural splendor first-hand, I’m convinced the area is really worthy of destination designation. I have my reasons. I’ll be penning an article in the near future that supports this conclusion.

For dinner, we drove a short ways out of Garibaldi to KoKo’s Restaurant located at the Alderbrook Golf Course. Unless you were looking for this place you wouldn’t know it was there. It’s a jaw-dropping facility that is neatly tucked away from sight, off the beaten path. In addition to the 18 hole golf course and the restaurant, Alderbrook had one of the more unique and inviting bars I have come across in a while. I wish I could say that I had the opportunity to belly-up, but it was dinner time. Alas, next trip. Dinner was another five course affair with wine pairings and dessert. The food and the staff were fantastic. General manager Katy Laviolette was a phenomenal hostess and ensured that the evening was memorable. Oddly enough, the capper was a modern restroom sink that confused, amused, and entertained many of us that paid a visit to the facilities. That’s a teaser folks, you’re going to have to go there and check it out yourself.

I actually had some time after dinner to watch a little TV and catch up on emails in my room. Breakfast the next morning was downstairs in the main dining area at 8am.

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6 responses

27 03 2012
Eeva Lantela

Hi Adam,

I thank you for mentioning DragonFire Gallery in your article. I enjoyed meeting you also. I will get up Saddle Mountain this year!

Eeva Lantela

27 03 2012
AdamSawyer.com

Thank you for such a wonderful Gallery! I’m going to check back sometime later this summer and make sure you made that hike :-)

27 03 2012
Eugene Tish

Adam,

Thank you for your kind words about Tillamook County and the Garibaldi area. Tillamook County, with its many rivers, bays and 75 miles of breath taking coast line (the Indian name for this area means “land of many waters”), is perhaps one of the world’s most under recognized and under appreciated natural phenomena.

Thanks for taking note and passing the word.

Eugene Tish

27 03 2012
AdamSawyer.com

My pleasure sir! Thank you for the hospitality and insight. I’ll be down that way again soon to work on an article that focuses exclusively on the area.

23 07 2012
iwtkangaroo

Those photos look amazing. I’d love to check out Canon Beach one day!

4 10 2012
AdamSawyer.com

Thank you! Let me know if and when you make it out here.

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