Travel Log: Oregon Coast


When I was little, my parents told me to hold a seashell close to my ears, so I would hear the roaring of the ocean. As I grew up in a landlocked country, I used this handy trick quite often. Little did I know, that one day in the far future I would dwell in a place so wild and vast while feeling so enchanted and vulnerable at the same time – the Oregon coast.

The secluded Oswald-West-State-Park is nestled along Oregon’s Highway 101. A place for surfers, beachcombers and everyone in love with the ocean. While gazing at the point where the sea meets the sky, there was only one sound that dominated my ears – the sound I had known for so long. The song of my tiny seashell that I had brought back from my trips to the Mediterranean. Not unlike the shore flooded with salty water I became overwhelmed with soppy memories. Thinking back, I honestly can’t remember how many minutes or hours we spent in this nature enclave during our roadtrip along the West Coast. Time stood still on this stormy day in the midst of this dramatic tree covered cliffs. Water was everywhere – it embraced us from all around. Little drops swirled and danced all around us. It drizzled. The sea mist mixed with the fog. Everything became one scenery, one shade of grey, one moment in time.

Oswald west state PARK
Miles and miles of coastline plus one of the most secluded sandy beaches of the coast – visiting Oswald West State Park is a crazy beautiful experience. Especially the beach nicknamed “Shorty’s” by the locals is a true gem.

While the wind was whipping, our cameras couldn’t stand still. We stepped through the moist wooden gate, just after having balanced over the numerous driftwood logs the sea had returned to the earth. To our right we discovered a waterfall, adding its noise to the soundscape. Trees were seemingly everywhere. They’d even fought their way rooting on the cliffs while craving the scarce sunlight. Tidal pools became mother nature’s mirrors. (And yes – she’s the fairest of them all). When we started observing closer, ghosts of the past appeared – a campfire long extinct. The remains of a stately sandcastle. Footprints. Reminders of a summer’s day at the Oregon coast.

»To the young eyes across the sea, who live and return to sanctuary, of defiant tales in stone, in a higher prayer alone, in the brightest chains of gold, in the furthest place from home.«

»Majesty« by The Panics

But how did we get here? First and foremost, we walked a not-so-beaten track from the parking lot, which was at the least a hiker’s delight. Every step took us closer to the sea, but on our way we passed a myriad of ferns, plants, trees and moss. Due to the drizzle in the air each and every little leaf looked like it was wearing green lip gloss.

Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters
All you need for a good planning session is offered by this small but charming coffeeshop in Cannon Beach. And if you’re still looking for souvenirs – they also sell their incredibly good beans.

And if we rewound even further, we planned this roadtrip along the Highway 101 while enjoying some salmon bagels in cosy Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters, where we marked all the stops along the coast in bright pink. As if it was a wish list addressed to Santa (or his Austrian colleague, the »Christkind«). We highlighted Astoria, Cannon Beach, Depoe Bay, Newport and Heceta Head. Some were chosen for its pristine beauty, some because of the lighthouses, and others because we’d heard that the food was supposed to be good there. Fast forward: We didn’t see everything we had planned to see. As it often turns out, time is limited, unlike our endless curiosity.

»It’s been said, on far shores, weary mariners hear voices, songs so beautiful they cast a spell there is no choice but to hear.«

Dan Crocket for Edges of Sanity – a film by

Astoria Coffee House & Bistro
Fancy a cake on a rainy day or a hearty meal featuring products from the area? This is the go to place for you!
One of the funky seaside hamlets we’ve visited and would highly recommend was Astoria. Named after John Jacob Astor (this name is well known to all fellow Titanic fanboys and -girls out there, as his great grandson with the same name was the richest passenger on board and sadly also one of the tragic victims of its sinking) the little town has a historic working-class vibe created by fishing and canning industries that mixes with some new artistic influences from here to there. California travelers might be reminded of Monterey. Fun-fact: Also Lewis and Clark paid Astoria an early visit.

A little further south Cannon Beach with famous Haystack Rock acts like a magnet to all tourists and instagrammers. But the sandy beach is so enormous that everyone can see the gunmetal-gray Pacific Ocean first row. When driving towards Newport, the lighthouse-dotted shoreline never gets boring. We considered ourselves lucky that we had the delight to catch the coast on a rainy day as it set a very special mood to this endeavour that we’ll probably never forget.

But I was never made to toil, trapped inside some city walls, I’m wild inside and when I hear the call, I’m gonna chase it.

»Atlas in Your Eye« – Dustin Tebbutt