Beauty and the Beach

My family spent Spring Break at Cannon Beach on the Oregon coast, and what a refreshing week it was!

The outdoors always sings to my soul. When I’m out in beautiful country the inner resonance is intense; almost physical. I find it difficult to describe, much as it would be difficult to describe a flavor. How would you describe the taste of, say, bananas to one who had never eaten anything like them before? It’s tough to put into words, but you know it immediately when you experience it.

The ocean is my second-favorite place to go in the outdoors. The fresh Pacific breezes, the roar and foam of the surf, and the incredible diversity of coastal wildlife (from birds and crabs to starfish and barnacles – even wild rabbits!) all soothe and satisfy my heart. Scenes like the now-defunct Tillamook Rock Lighthouse (below) are breathtaking.

In fact, the only place that outranks the ocean for me is mountains: real, high, forested mountains, like the Sierras and the Cascades that we enjoy here out West. The Oregon Coast Range dominates the backdrop at the beach. These mountains are smaller then the Cascades just to the east, but they’re still rugged, thickly carpeted with lush ferns, mosses, and fir trees, full of deer & elk, and laced with clear, cold rivers. At one point we even saw a pair of Bald Eagles perched majestically high in the trees overlooking the ocean!

Perhaps that’s why I like the Oregon coast so much, for it is here that rugged mountains meet powerful ocean. Both of my favorite things about the outdoors all in one place, and the scene is positively dazzling. This week brought late season snows to the mountains, as this shot from our front porch (below) shows. So one could stand on the beach facing the oncoming waves, and then turn 180 degrees and look upon snow covered mountaintops. Unreal!

What places resonate with your soul?


Amy Guerino said...

I'm glad you posted these pictures and the video of the kids shows their delight.

You know the beach and the mountains resonate with me as well. But, I also love Oregon for it's waterfalls! The power in Multnomah Falls when it has been a very rainy season is undaunting for me. The picture it paints of the real powerful God who created it enraptures me!

Judith said...

Matt, would you please forward Beauty and the Beach to this grandma? I have the distinct feeling that the other gramma would like it as well!

Melissa said...

So... I was trying to explain to some people here how much I love the ocean.. and how much I love the mountains... and I could not put it all together in a way that was satisfactory to me... and then look at this.. you did it! that is the perfect place... one side the indescribable ocean and on the other side the indescribable snow capped mountains! Guess I am spoiled growing up in Oregon where you can actually experience that. the closest I have been over here... Interlaken Switzerland... two lakes surrounded by Alps. :-) cool.. but not the same.

Ken said...

For both my wife and I, it's definitely the beach. As a SoCal gal, hers is definitely the ocean.

John & Ronda said...

We too are torn by the choice between mountains and beach. In New Zealand, we found the perfect joining of the two. On the east coast of the South Island, the mountains come right down to the sands of the Pacific. Early in the morning, we stood on the beach, watching the sun slowly illuminate the mountains from top to bottom.

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