Patches and I woke up on Monday morning (Day 4) around 6:45 am to sunny skies and zero wind so we woke Jon up too and headed to the beach for an early morning walk. It was perfect – the beach was almost empty, the tide was out and we were able to wander down what turned out to be a huge beach just a few minutes from our campsite.
I was so excited by the nice beach and fantastic weather that as soon as we got back from our walk I threw on my running gear and headed for a beach run. I ran south from the campground for almost 3 miles before turning back (and still didn’t quite get to the end of the beach). The wind had picked up while I was running so it was a bit of a slog back but still pretty nice to be out there. June wasn’t my most active month so it felt great to end with a run.
By the time I got back to the campground Jon had made coffee and we hung out at the campsite making plans for the rest of the day with our friends. It was already turning into a hot day so we split up with plans to meet at the beach and Jon and I headed back south to Tillamook for some supplies. We stopped at the Goodwill store for a beach blanket, very quickly at the Tillamook Cheese Factory for some curds (it was just way too busy), again at the Tillamook Country Smoker for some beef jerky and finally at the Manzanita grocery store for bread. I guess with the nice weather and it being summer vacation everyone was out and about so our errands took way longer than expected. It was around 2 pm when we finally managed to snag a parking spot at Short Sands Beach (just north of Manzanita) and I was more than ready for a break.
We spent the next few hours in the beach – eating lunch and watching the crowds of surfers. All the beaches we visited were beautiful but what I enjoyed most was that Patches was able to sit right out on the sand, or go play in the waves since everywhere allowed dogs. I had hoped to do some hiking at the park but Patches was just too exhausted and once we had our fill of people watching we instead headed back to Nehalem for another walk on the beach. The beach was pretty windy but we managed to stay out for a while.
Nehalem Bay State Park is only a couple of miles from the town of Manzanita (you can easily walk there) so we ended up heading into town for dinner after our walk. The Sand Dune Pub has a dog friendly patio so we sat out there and Patches napped under a bench. The food was typical pub food but getting to sit outside (and just being on vacation) made it extra nice. After we grabbed ice cream sandwiches from the grocery store and headed back to camp for a fire and some cider drinking until around midnight when we realized that we were the only campsite still awake and called it a night.