Seaside, Oregon is just north of Cannon Beach, Oregon, one of the dog-friendliest beach communities on the western seaboard. Between Cannon Beach and Seaside is Ecola State Park, the place I planned to spend Christmas Day hiking. Christmas is about church, and nature is my cathedral—luckily I can find them most anywhere, I only need to figure out which one will allow my canine kid to attend services with me.
I have never thought much about lodging, seeing as on our roadtrips, Tucker and I spend about 9-10 hours in each one, sometimes less. We play, have a pillow fight, eat some grub, and then sleep. I don’t like spending a lot of money for such minimal requirements as a roof over my head and a comfy bed. But in this case, not knowing if we still might confront inclement weather, I wanted a nice indoor space to spend the holiday should the need arise.
The pictures looked perfect online, but the Google map imagery looked less than stellar. We arrived after dark, so although I could judge that indeed the interior was everything and more, I had no idea what outside would be like. Upon entering the early 1900’s beach cottage, I felt welcomed, as if the house was happy to not have to spend the holiday alone.
When I was little I had a Big Wheels that I would ride around on in the driveway. My mother was very clear to always tell me, “Do NOT leave the driveway.” Even though we lived on a sidestreet with no traffic other than the few neighbors who lived there, I was not allowed to cross the perimeter where blacktop ended and street began. So I would rev up and barrel all the way down the driveway at top speed (my mother’s heart racing just as quickly when she would see me do this), and then slam on the brakes at the last possible moment to be sure that front Big Wheel didn’t cross the line.
Cut to thirty-five years later: Tucker races across the large, slippery expanse of the hardwood floor in the upstairs room headed for the end that is an open stairwell leading down to the first floor. “Tucker! No! Stop!” I yell, my heart pounding as he slams on his own four-footed brakes and slides to a neat stop right at the edge of the top stair, just his front toenails dangling off the ledge. He turns his head to look back at me, big goofy grin on his face, and there it is: karma. Never doubt that the actions of your childhood lead you to exactly where you are today.
Honestly, I must have done some other things right because where I was, was stunning. This was the view I awoke to Christmas morning from my bed:
We were only in the parking lot, and the views were already glorious.
Had I not at least gone as far as we could, I never would have been right in this spot to experience this from this:
We drove back, parked at the nearest park, and walked. How could I complain? After all, my goal was to go for a walk.
So, Tucker and I started rather far away from it:
Here’s a little way to judge. Those little lines in the upper-middle right on the edge of the sand line: those are human beings.