I was fortunate to spend several days at Cannon Beach, Oregon, in late July. We stayed at a resort just north of Haystack Rock, right on the beach, and the weather was perfect—mid-70s, and lots of sunshine. I can’t say I got my fill of walks on the beach (see here and here), but I did enjoy what time I had.
I’ve been to Cannon Beach several times, starting with my twelfth birthday in 1968—more than forty years ago. I also spent my fifteenth birthday there. But those occasions were in April, and it wasn’t very warm. As you can see, my family was all bundled up for this picture taken on the beach in 1968. My grandmother was the only one brave enough to swim in the Pacific Ocean—and even she didn’t swim in April.
This year, it was warm enough for s’mores on the beach one evening, with a full moon rising behind the shoreline. During the week, both kids and adults waded, and several of our party not me) surfed and paddleboarded.
My son (with beer, not s’mores . . . though he partook of those, too) on the beach, with the full moon rising
The last time I was in Cannon Beach was in 1997. On that trip, we stayed in Seaside, Oregon, the town north of Cannon Beach. It was a family reunion with my parents and my sister and her family. That trip, we had people from two to sixty-four, and my kids were fifteen and twelve (my daughter was the same age I had been on my first trip to Cannon Beach).
This trip was a family reunion on my husband’s side of the family. We had people from two to eighty-seven. My husband and I and our children were the only repeats from the 1997 trip. Our kids are now in their thirties. My husband is now older than my parents were on the 1997 trip.
Funny, how time flies.
In 1968, there were no restrictions on exploring the tide pools at the base of Haystack Rock. My siblings and I waded and climbed as much as we wanted to (until one of us fell in and got too cold to stay any longer). We oohed and aahed at the starfish and sea anenomes, and captured hermit crabs in buckets to take back to our beach house.
Now, Haystack Rock is off limits beyond a certain point, protected for the sea birds by the federal Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife also prohibits the taking of any plants or animals (including hermit crabs) from the site.
You might have noticed we had my grandmother’s poodle Mimi with us in 1968. Mimi was a purebred miniature poodle, always impeccably groomed.
This year, we had my daughter’s dog Langley. Langley is a mutt, and was recuperating from a lacerated ear suffered during an overly exuberant meeting with another dog. All Langley wanted was to hide in the shade. She was quite ashamed of her head wraps, plus the sedatives required to keep her from rubbing it off kept her groggy. She did not like the hot sand, though perked up some when we walked her on the damp beach.
I am pleased to report that shortly after her return home, Langley’s ear improved, and she is now back to her handsome self.
When have you returned to a site after many years, only to find it changed—for better or for worse?