August 04, 2012

West of Portland: The Oregon Coast Part 2

We finally made it to Seaside and settled in at our Couch Surfing hosts's home. In Seaside we had another great Couch Surfing experience (I know...but I promise I'm not being paid to say all of this...although if Couch Surfing did want to chip in, that would be OK too). When looking for someone to couch surf with, we decided to try out the "display my travel plans to local couch hosts" option. Neal, a very kind host from Seaside, contacted us and let us know that we were welcome at his house.

At Neal's House
The crazy thing is though is that Neal wasn't even there when we were at his house. He was out traveling the world himself, off on a bicycle adventure on the coast. He opened his house to us (and he has an amazing house right by the beach!), welcomed us to use the showers at our will, and only asked that we sign his guest journal and describe what our passion is.

Neal's Couch Surfer Journal
While we were there, we met several other couch surfers who were also making their way up the coast, some by bike and some by car. I leafed through the journal and read some of the entries written by the previous couch surfers. There were several who had biked across the country, some who had biked the whole coast from California to Washington, and a couple of folks who had visited from other countries on their multi-country tour of the world. It was a very humbling experience to read what others had done, and again, it only reminded us of how much more we could learn about this world we live in.

Seaside, the town, was not really mentioned in any of the guide books we'd read up on the Oregon coast, and I think that's because the locals are trying to keep it a secret. The beach at Seaside stretches long in both directions, and is about a football stadium wide. The sand is wheat yellow and the water is clean. Most mornings there is a thick fog that rolls in, and I can't even begin to explain how fun and adventurous it is to wonder on the beach in the mist. Runners and bikers appear and disappear constantly as they pass by, and its like they fall into the abyss. There is a 1.5 mile long paved promenade that stretches along the beach, and it lends itself perfectly for an evening stroll or a morning run. Seaside also wouldn't be Seaside without Broadway St. and the collection of stores, cafes and fair-like attractions to be found there (carousel, bumper cars, salt water taffy, you name it).

Broadway St. in Seaside
Walking on the beach in Seaside
Walking on the beach in Seaside in deep fog!
We spent four awesome days in Seaside, mainly enjoying the beach. One of the days we hiked the Tillamook Head Trail hike, a trail that stretches for 5.5 miles between the towns of Seaside and Cannon Beach, and follows the coastline. The hike was incredibly muddy on the Seaside side (try saying that three times fast), and we got plenty muddy scrambling over tree stumps and jumping through puddles. At the top of the hill we found the log cabin campground, and great views of the Terrible Tilly, the Tillamook Head lighthouse.

Tillamook Head Trail
Sky, looking at Terrible Tilly from the Tillamook Head Trail 
Our last day in Seaside we drove north to Astoria. Astoria is on the Columbia River, just across from the state of Washington. Astoria had the feel of a very old harbor town. It had a quaint downtown area right on the water, but was lacking the rejuvenation factor that we'd seen in other older towns we'd passed through before. We wandered around for a bit, climbed up on the Astoria Column, and then found an amazing Bosnian restaurant called the Drina Daisy where we had a very yummy and unique three course meal for under $25.

Astoria, OR
Great views of Astoria and the Columbia River from the Astoria Column 
Our very yummy meal at Drina Daisy
Overall I would say that the Oregon coast is just as nice, if not nicer, than the California coast. If only the weather was warmer, I would even go as far as to say that I liked it more.

Click on the links to see more pictures of Seaside and Astoria.

Happy Seaside Exploring,


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1 comment:

  1. Glad your coast trip went great. Neal sounds like quite the (absent) host!
    Hope you're enjoying Washington.