The Coast

Tornadoes postponed Passport Oregon’s planned trip to Cannon Beach. The delay - just by a week - did not dampen our excitement. Our decision to wait paid off in the form of sunny skies and calm winds throughout our entire coastal adventure. On this trip, two parents joined our team of students and volunteers for a full day of fun along the coast.

Our students exited the van at Ecola State Park to find a breathtaking view of Haystack Rock, a lighthouse, and seagulls swirling above. One student summed up the group’s impression simply with one word – “Awesome.” We began the day with an art project at Ecola State Park. Cody Burchfield, a dear friend of the organization, crafted puzzle pieces that, once colored and properly placed together, formed pictures of some of our state’s most recognizable natural areas. The smiling students commenced coloring and had delicious lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches donated by Mo’s Chowder.

OREGON’S COAST – A quick history
At any point on Oregon’s 392-mile coast, you stand on shared land – public property forever open to one and all, thanks to Governor Oswald West. Mr. West gazed out at the Pacific and wholly appreciated the coast’s stunning beauty. He set out to make beaches public spaces. Later, Governor Tom McCall made it a reality, and today all Oregonians can claim the coast as their own. At the continent’s edge, in front of powerful swells, everyone can sense their smallness and become lost in the beauty. At the coast, we all can gain a new appreciation for our state’s rugged shores, and unforgettable coves, bays, and beaches.

Exploration and a Whale!The next stop on our trip was at Oswald State Park. Park Ranger Amy Hurst greeted us upon our arrival and then led a tour of the park. Following a short hike to Short Sands Beach, each student soaked up the chance to learn from Ranger Amy. They collected shells, learned about Oregon’s geologic past, and chatted with the Ranger about the fish ladders, streams, and mushrooms they saw on the hike. We came upon a shocking find – a large whale had washed ashore and begun to decompose! It was a reminder of the circle of life.  The whale sparked student’s curiosity, and they began to ask questions and, of course, plug their noses! By the time they had exhausted their inquiries and trekked back to the trailhead, our young explorers had walked over three miles.After thanking Ranger Amy, we loaded up the van and headed for a quick hot chocolate. At Elderberry Inn, sips of chocolate goodness were accompanied by students’ stories from the day and shared excitement for our next adventure to Eugene on November 5th.

Want to take your own trip to the coast? View the Trip itinerary here to get ideas from our trip!