I've driven over the bridge toward the beach, but rather than going to the beach, I took the road north to Hammond. This is the Columbia River from Hammond, and the low, dark hill in the center of the photo is Astoria. It's kind of a gloomy day, but I'm enjoying seeing what's around me.
I took this from Hammond also, looking west toward the mouth of the river. The hills you see in this photo are in Washington.
I guess this area would be called Gearhart. It's almost exactly between Gearhart and Seaside. I've driven south now on Highway 30 (also called 26 and 101) and come to a picturesque slough. Beyond the second body of water is the beach and the ocean. It's still surprising to me to find forest settings and vegetation near the beach.
This is the same slough looking south on Highway 30/26/101. I feel anchored by mountains and large bodies of water, and here we have both. The closest mountains aren't that high, but they do have forest and that makes a difference. The mountains behind Santa Barbara never felt very real to me when I lived there.
I've gone all the way south to Cannon Beach. The picture is taken looking north from the beach in front of one of the large hotels rather than south to the famous Haystack Rock. Cannon Beach is one of the places I'd thought of living, but costs are high and the town seemed to be more of a tourist destination than a complete in-depth town. It's pretty here, and it makes me lonely to go to nice places and want to share it with someone. I'll be taking an art class at the college in September, and I have my work and all my Internet connections. I'm forcing myself to be more outgoing and talk to people. That's probably a good thing. The beach at this location is wide and flat and I really prefer the beach closer to home where the forest and grass come closer to the water.
In all, I've chosen a remarkable place to live. No regrets!