USA 2013 Part 3: Coasting to health

Is there such a thing as a paracetamol (acetaminophen) high? For the drive out of Seattle to Cannon Beach, I can only assume that drugs or expectations maintained my alertness. While the girls slept for large parts of the drive, I was trying to appreciate the scenery as we made our way past Olympia, Longview and Astoria. Once again, the home-made plan to base ourselves at Cannon Beach was to enjoy the day relaxing by the coast while branching out at the golden hour to various locations within reach such as Astoria, the Peter Iredale wreck and Hug point. Plan B came into effect as soon as the paracetamol high ran its course and faded into shivers almost precisely at the moment of our arrival.

Chapter 8: Provisions and Lodgings

We were back into the swing of our usual travel routines ; having choice. We could eat out if we wanted to, stay in if we wanted to, veg out watching TV if we chose or explore if we were physically up to it. Part of this lifestyle necessitates the occasional supermarket ‘raid’ for provisions , often in a manner not so nearly organised as a visit while at home. We tend to align ourselves to familiarity while travelling and on this trip, Safeway was our provisions haven! (Similar to ‘Bonus’ in Iceland and ‘Countdown’ in New Zealand). If you are reading this from Australia then you will be glad to know that supermarket prices in the USA are significantly lower than here! If you are planning to visit Australia then the bad news for you is that nearly every country in the world we have visited has offered more economical grocery shopping (even Iceland for certain things!). Our accommodation at Cannon Beach was this lovely two bedroom house :

Chapter 9: The relaxation option

Usually , on these kinds of trips, I’m out at most dawns while we are all out as a family exploring a location around dusk. At the start of this trip, while Charlotte was still ‘sleeping in’ well past dawn, it would be nice to head out for a dawn shoot before settling down for a breakfast with everyone just getting up. As time progressed and the body clocks readjusted however, Charlotte’s wakings would often be quite early and just after dawn meaning that I would return home after or during breakfast. And sometimes when she woke at night, in her half awake state, she would say ‘Daddy taking photos’ (I know, she’s only 2 right????) . I knew it was time to cut back or at limit early morning forays to night photography and come back to wake her up. And so, I shelved plans to take any long drives out at dawn up to the Astoria area and limited my skulking to the beach itself so as not to miss out on the morning joys! Flu recovery meanwhile was happening slowly for me and even slower for Marianne. Most of the shots from Canon Beach and Cape Kiwanda were therefore just of these specific regions rather than anywhere more distant.

Cannon Beach is a very popular beach-side holiday town. It is part of a string of seaside towns along the northern Oregon coast and is home to the famous Haystack rock. These clouds were the last remnants of anything resembling bad weather for our trip.

Cannon Beach at sunset

I woke up too late to shoot the milky way over Haystack Rock. I shot these frames from left to right. Even within the 10 minutes or so it took to shoot this, the light changed quite significantly such that the exposures for the right half lacked stars and the sky was starting to blow. There’s always a next time to achieve this goal!

Half a milky way over Cannon Beach’s Haystack Rock

Ecola State Park is a short drive out of town and worth visiting for its beautiful forests and top-down coastal views southward.

Cannon Beach from Ecola State Park

Charlotte making herself busy at our rental accommodation.

A separate hidden lounge where I slept to hide the nocturnal cough

Chapter 10: Making Hay …..

After our first evening at Cannon Beach , a weather system would settle over the Pacific Northwest which gave rise to calm, warm, sunny conditions. Those locals who I spoke to about it remarked about how unusual this weather was. From a health and general travel perspective, we all relished the ease of travelling in dry and sunny weather. From a photographic point of view , it meant that we really had to concentrate on composition and picking our moments as we weren’t going to have any ‘ready made’ eye candy shots based on skies alone. Generally speaking, we don’t like to ‘insert’ skies or foregrounds from different scenes hence the challenge given the conditions that we had.  Fortunately, the dramatic patterns and crazy formations along the coast of Cape Kiwanda allowed plenty of foreground exploration. These conditions may have also been a positive given that most shots these days are not taken in plain sky weather. Actually, who am kidding right? Of course we would have loved roaring seas , thunder clouds lit by a fading sun, rainbows through a break in rainy conditions -BUT, given our health circumstances, the gentle weather was much appreciated 😉 During the rest of our time there, we were so comfortable in our accommodation that we only ventured a little way north along the Three Capes scenic drive route. Our time along the Oregon coast was simply too short!

Marianne on her first photo outing during recovery

The limestone rock features some amazing patterns in the rock . The coast can get battered but on our visit, the seas were quite placid.

Patterns in the rocks

The waters can splash and drain all the way up this cauldron of rock at the tip of the Cape

Our rental accommodation courtesy of

Next up: Our Silver Lining Playbook 🙂


Posted on November 18, 2013, in USA and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Just great as ever,really enjoyed this

  2. keyboard travelling via your impressive narratives & images, so fabulous!

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