Bucket List Worthy
By Jim Cheney / Photo by TECK SIONG ONG via Shutterstock
Perplexed, I stood shivering on the Oregon Coast. The grey waters of the Pacific Ocean lapped against the white sandy beach in front of me. The enveloping fog allowed only the slightest hints of blue sky to peek through its impenetrable grip. This wasn’t what I thought my day at the beach would look like. “Maybe I’m the victim of some cosmic prank,” I thought.
My day had started in Portland, Oregon, an hour and a half drive from quaint Cannon Beach. Looking at the weather forecast for Portland, it read sunny and 33 degrees. “A perfect beach day,” my wife and I said to each other.
“Should I bring a jacket?” I thought to myself. “Nah, it’s going to be hot today. No sense doing that.”
Shortly after waking, we hopped in the car we borrowed for the day and headed towards the coast. Windows down, my shorts, t-shirt, and flip-flops were ready for the beach.
As we climbed over the Oregon Coast Mountain Range, we started to notice fog billowing ahead.
“No worries,” I said, “it might be overcast, but it’ll still be a great day for the beach.”
Driving into town, my wife spoke up, “Why is everyone wearing jackets?”
In my excitement, I hadn’t even noticed. As I rolled down my window, I was met with a very odd and unpleasant reality: cold air. Still not believing it could possibly be cold, I looked at the car’s thermometer: 15 degrees!
Surprisingly, there seemed to be hundreds of others who had come to town, most prepared with long pants and jackets. Surely we weren’t the only ones who didn’t know it would be so cold at the coast.
As we progressively got colder, we decided to leave the ocean behind and walk through town. We aimlessly popped in and out of shops, looking for nothing but a brief respite from the chill outside.
However, just because we weren’t looking for anything didn’t mean we didn’t find some amazing shops. From photography to homemade fudge, there was a bit of everything in the shops of Cannon Beach. There was even a small brewpub in town serving great beers.
However, even with a bit of beer in the belly, we were getting to the point where we we couldn’t handle the cold for much longer. Then, rounding a corner, we saw it.
Set on a corner lot, meters from the beach: the Insomnia Coffee Company. It was the perfect way to while away the hours on a chilly beach day.
We walked into the refuge filled with plush chairs that faced large windows which let in just the right amount of light to highlight the grain of the wooden walls. Despite sitting so close to the beach, I was whisked away to the slopes of a snowy mountain.
Warming my hands on a cup of chai, the sweet mixture of spices wafting up towards the ceiling, the day all of a sudden seemed perfect. Gone was my frustration from not being able to go for a swim in the ocean. Gone, too, was my desire for one last chance to walk barefoot on the beach before the leaves began to fall. Instead, in this moment, I had no concerns other than the warm drink in my hands.
I wouldn’t have wanted my day at the coast any other way.