driving to the oregon coastal dunes

“Let’s check out Aberdeen – It’s one of the first towns when you hit the ocean in Washington”.

So we did. We crept up at 10pm and stopped at McDonalds for some chicken nuggets. (Yuck. Who even eats that crap?) The man at the counter stared at me blankly when I asked where to get a drink in this town. A 40-something year old lady piped up from the milkshake machine saying to “check out Mack’s Tavern and Cardroom, It’s the place to be in Aberdeen”.

Roadtrip - aberdeen

We did just that. Walking in was like a movie reel where the music rips to a halt, and everyone’s heads turn to look at the newcomers in the door. All dudes. Fisherman, tradesmen, poker players, from their 20’s to 70’s, wrapped around the bar and the card table. Katie and I were in this for the long haul.

“I’ll take a bud light (how american of me), how much do I owe ya?”

“three bucks” piped the pleasant bartender boy. What!?!?! Three bucks!? Is this happy hour? No, it’s just Aberdeen – small town America. After some interesting and entertaining conversation from locals who clearly don’t interact with city folk too often, we cheersed to Aberdeen, and made our way on for a late night drive towards Astoria.

Cannon Beach - cannon

Waking up in my car, bundled up under a sleeping bag is quite possibly one of my favourite feelings. Especially when twenty minutes later, this is your view. Cannon Beach, you captivate me. Situated just south of Seaside, Oregon, this little tourist town has plenty of local charm; coffee shops, restaurants, and a stunning shoreline with Haystack Rock, which has a small cave system that’s accessible when the tide is low. The homes that line the beach are full of character, and I find myself wondering who lives there, and what they do. Sometimes I wonder what the cook for breakfast, while they sip their coffee staring at the impeccable view.

Orgeon - cannon beach

“Emily! You’re in Seaside?! So are we!” The Instagram conversation that turned a duo trip into an epic  foursome roadie.

We met up with two of my rad co-workers on the beach in Cannon, reminiscing about the previous night before we were convinced to hit the road south – for what Bones said would be “two hours max” to the Oregon Dunes. Okay, bud, okay …four hours and a run in with the cops later…

Oregon Coast hwy 1

The best part about not having a plan, and having an open mind, is having the freedom to say yes to whatever you want that comes your way. That’s what we did – we said yes, all weekend long. Stopping at the Rogue Brewery in Newport for a couple drinks and some fresh west coast fish before moving on south, the open road was our best bud. The trouble with cross-border travel is limited mobile data and limited knowledge of you know, things like where we’re going to sleep, etc. Pulling into Florence, Papa Bones saved the day by finding us camping at one of the multiple campgrounds in the Oregon Dunes. Because, let’s be real, it’s a wicked place to camp.

Waking up and rolling into this…

Raod Trip - Oregon Dunes

… couldn’t have been more of what I was looking for on a labour day Sunday. Miles and miles of white sand beach, with barely anyone on it (talk about ideal). We spent the day sipping drinks and participating in a wide varieties of beach adventures.

Oregon - dune run

Including the totally necessary “we’ve-clearly-drank-too much” dance party.

Orgeon- dune dance party

Anywhere you go in Oregon Dunes Park, you can expect dunes on dunes on dunes. And if we’re there – dunes on dunes on babes. With beers. Once we hit the dunes at sunset, it was a full on free-for-all. Bones and Alicia ran off into the sunset, Katie capturing moments with her camera (naturally), and me making friends with dune buggy drivers from Portland, we were in our element. Legendary.

Oregon - dune night

Saying au revoir to the dunes was a toughie. It’s a place I could pitch a tent and call home for a long while. The only plus to leaving such a great place, is taking your sweet time on the drive back up the coast. the eleven hours back to Vancouver were filled with photo ops, breath-taking views, and a little climb at Hug Point.

Roadtrip - hug point

 Okay, Oregon Coast. You know how I feel about you. I’d like to be in a life-long, wake up and make you breakfast kind of relationship.

orgeon - road home

Yours truly,




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