Meet a Roosevelt Elk

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 (Photo: JoAnna Dotson, 1-2-2015) 

During the quieter, winter season at the Oregon Coast, keep your eyes peeled around dusk and dawn.  That’s when you are mostly likely to see a majestic Roosevelt elk emerge from the shadows of the forest to graze in open meadows or wander along the edge of Cannon Beach looking for a bite to eat.

Elk are nocturnal herbivores that munch on ferns, shrubs, lichen, various berries, and grasses.  They also feed on seedlings of Douglas firs and western cedar.  With the abundance of food and cover, along with mild winters, the elk rarely migrate, spending most of the lives in the same area.

Or, you might even be surprised like a young woman who recently spotted an entire heard of elk swimming near the Astoria Bridge.

According to a spokesman with  the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, it’s not unusual for elk or deer to swim in rivers if they are motivated to find another place to graze or if they are seeking protection from predators—primarily humans or cougars.

Roosevelt Elk are found between in the Cascades from British Columbia to Northern California, and especially in the Oregon Coast range.   Named by Theodore Roosevelt, the desire to protect North America’s large, coastal dwelling elk was one of the primary forces behind the establishment of Washington’s Olympic National Park in 1909.

Elk are matriarchal.  Herds are generally led by females, comprised of calves, and adolescent bulls and cows.  Males live separately, except during the late-August breeding resulting in calves born the following spring.   Males weigh between 700 and 1,100 and cows about 625.

 Astoria resident JoAnna Dotson spotted this herd of elk swimming near in the Columbia River on January 2, 2015. (Copied from OregonLive.com.  See more photos and read more at this link.  http://www.oregonlive.com/multimedia/index.ssf/2015/01/post_39.html 

Whale Watching on the Oregon Coast for the New Year

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Oregon’s Whale of a Tradition

An excerpt from a column written by David Sarasohn, in
The Oregonian, 12/28/2014.

There are places, of course, where the holiday animal traditions run to reindeer, and others featuring cuddly bears.

Around here, we think bigger.

This weekend marks the beginning of whale watching week on the Oregon coast, which annually takes place right after Christmas, as though the whales were trying to get to a New Year’s Eve party in California. Over several months, about 20,000 gray whales, and maybe some cetacean fellow travelers, journey from Alaska to Mexico. This week, Oregonians will trek out to the coast to catch a glimpse from the shore or get a closer look from a bobbing boat.

The goal is to pick out a gray whale in a gray sea, or a spout of water in an endless ocean, and catch sight of a parade that’s been going on longer than anything with floats or marching bands. For the whale, it’s a several weeks nonstop cruise.

“It’s an opportunity to see an animal the size of a school bus,” says William Hanshumaker, Oregon Sea Grant chief scientist at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. “It’s hard not to be impressed by seeing something that large.”

Gray whales, like a lot of other legends prominent around this time, are a renewal story. “These animals are back from the brink of extinction,” says Sobel. “Thirty or forty years ago, they were nearly extinct. They were protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act in 1972…before that, crucially, the Mexican government protected the whales in their winter quarters. In 1995, the gray whale came off the endangered list.

Now, thousands of them annually swim by the Oregon coast, keeping close to shore, although probably not consciously posing for pictures. Heading south at the end and the very beginning of the year, with a heavy layer of blubber that keeps them from stopping too often to feed, they’re swimming in mixed groups, on the way to give birth in warmer waters. On the way back north in spring, the males go first, with the females working to keep the new calves between themselves and the shore.

Oregonians tend to venture outside through various climatic conditions.  And they feel, it seems, a special pull from a prehistoric creature proceeding placidly down one of the world’s longest maritime migration routes, coming back from the threat of extinction to claim their (very large) place in the world.

Especially for a place that likes to think of itself as deeply connected to the natural space around it, whale watching seems a particularly fitting “New Year.”  With wobbly stomach and constant uncertainty, you scan an endless horizon trying to catch a sudden glimpse of something wondrous, something bigger than yourself.

 

(Bring binoculars and check into an ocean-front suite at Tolovana Inn for winter whale watching!)

 

 

Holiday fare: Fresh, Oregon Dungeness in season now!

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The peak harvest for fresh Oregon Dungeness crabs runs from December through April, and that means right now, is a great time to plan a special holiday meal around the flavorful crustacean.

Oregon Dungeness crab is versatile and easy to prepare at home, or when staying at the coast in a spacious, Tolovana Inn suite in Cannon Beach.

Dungeness crab can be purchased at specialty seafood markets and supermarkets throughout the region with retail prices typically lowest during the winter when the harvest is in full swing.

The simplest method of preparing  Dungeness crab is placing live crab in boiling salted water and cooking  for 18-20 minutes–after the water returns to a boil—and the shell turns bright orange.  Immerse the crabs in cold water to cool before cleaning.  Fresh cooked crab can be served chilled or heated in a steamer, broiler or oven for 4 to 5 minutes.

Crab can be simply served with melted  butter. Add a crisp Oregon Riesling and warm garlic bread, and a wonderful, local dinner is ready to enjoy.  For more elegant fare, crab meat can be served cocktail style as a tasty appetizer or featured as a hot entrée in crab cakes, pastas, seafood soups and  casseroles.

Besides enjoying the tender, sweet flavor of fresh Dungeness crab, you can feel good about the selection since Seafood Watch has given the crab a sustainable seafood rating of ‘Best Choice’  Selection.

For more information about Oregon’s state crustacean (as proclaimed by the Oregon legislature in 2009)  visit the Oregon Dungeness Crab commission web site.

Cheers for the Oregon coast and the winter Dungeness crab season!

 

Storm Watching: When Mother Nature Puts on the Show

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Winter is the perfect time of year to enjoy the natural and powerful drama of the Pacific Coast, when stormy, wet days can be followed up with soothing cool, breaks of blue sky and sunshine.

There are a couple of ways to enjoy winter storm watching in Cannon Beach.

The most comfortable is cuddled up inside an ocean front suite at the Tolovana Inn, snug near a fireplace with your favorite beverage, watching the stormy skies and thundering waves crash against the shore and nearby Haystack Rock.

Or if you prefer, bundle up and get outdoors for some real action.  Rain gear and boots are recommended.    Sure, your hair may get whipped around, and it may be hard to know which way the rain is falling, but that’s part of the excitement.

Walking along the shore to experience an upfront view of the ocean’s magnificent power is invigorating.   But, be sure to stay alert.  Just five inches of water can move a five ton log.  And sneaker waves that join up up can quickly double their height.

Depending upon where you are, avoid climbing on cliffs and jetties. Large rocks are slippery.  And, they can shift.

But drying off and warming up after a brisk  storm walk is part of the experience.  And, a bowl of clam chowder from Mo’s Restaurant, next door to Tolovana Inn, is both welcome and restorative.

The day after a storm is the best time for beach combing.  That’s when the ocean’s flotsam and jetsam are washed ashore and treasure hunting is at its best.   You can find anything from amazing shells to some random cargo that might have fallen off an ocean barge.

You can enjoy the calm—again–before the next storm.

 

Haystack Holiday Fun Underway in Cannon Beach.

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There’s lots of seasonal special events happening in Cannon Beach over the next several weeks.  It’s a great time to reserve a suite at Tolovana Inn, and plan to  join in the holiday festivities.

Mimosa Madness – November 28th

This is a delightful way to enjoy Black Friday shopping.  Avoid the crush at the malls. Enjoy the mimosa-inspired pace of shopping at many of the unique and delightful Cannon Beach shops.  Merchants will be up early with you to share the fun, excitement and bargains of your favorite Holiday Season! And special note: All Mimosa Madness purchases can be beautifully wrapped at a special station in the Coaster Theater from 9am to 2pm.   For more information, check out face book/MimosaMadness.

Cannon Beach in Lights – November 28th to December 18th

Right now, residents and businesses are getting their light displays up and ready for the season, which will adorn the town throughout December.   Take a walk around town, and then help select the winning display by voting online at the www.cannonbeach.org before noon, Friday, December 19.

Lamp Lighting Ceremony – December 6th

A beloved holiday tradition, the town lamp lighting ceremony is scheduled for 4pm on Saturday, Dec. 6 at Sandpiper Square.  Enjoy treats and refreshments immediately following.

 Holiday Wreath Making – November 29th & December 6th

Get a little help creating your own holiday wreath on two afternoons at the Cannon Beach Chamber, from 11am to 3 pm.     Everything you need, including refreshments and holiday music, and a  very qualified “elf” to guide you.

Cannon Beach Chorus Christmas Concert – December 7th

Local vocalists will provide the sounds of the season at a 2:30 pm performance at the Cannon Beach Community Church.  Tickets are $10 per person. For more information, call 503-436-0378

Beauty and the Beast – Through  December 27th

Based on the Academy-Award winning animated feature, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast will come to life during performances at the coaster theater.   Secure your tickets now online at  www.coastertheatre.com

Pictures with Santa – December 13th

Santa Claus is coming to Cannon Beach to hear holiday wishes. See the jolly man in the red suit when he stops by the Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce from 1pm until 4pm. Ho Ho Ho!

 Remember, if you need a clever gift idea, Tolovana Gift certificates are perfect for family, friends and business associates.  Give us a call and we’ll do the rest!  1800-333-8890.

 

Great idea: Tolovana Inn Gift Certificates.

Certainly the easiest and most appreciated gift anyone can give is a getaway to an ocean front room at Tolovana Inn in Cannon Beach.

“It’s a perfect gift for us to give to our grown kids and their families,” say Karen and Andrew, empty nesting grandparents from Gresham.   “They love it.   They can use the gift certificates any time of the year, and we don’t have to worry about getting our grandkids more stuff that they really don’t need.”

To make the actual gift giving even more fun, Karen says, she puts a lot of creativity into wrapping a Tolovana Inn gift certificate in a big package.  She’ll add items the family can use during their stay, like big beach towels, sand toys, and even flashlights.

Gift certificates to Tolovana Inn make great holiday gifts for just about everyone, including parents, friends and even business associates.  Throughout the year, consider giving them for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, anniversaries or other special occasions.

The gift certificates don’t expire, so the gift recipients can use them any time of the year for a welcome getaway to the Oregon coast.

To purchase a Tolovana Inn Gift Certificate, please call 800-333-8890. Certificates can be mailed to you or directly to the recipient.   It’s one gift that will not be returned!

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Cannon Beach’s Stormy Weather Arts Festival, November 7-9, 2014.

Shore Patrol, “Shore Patrol”  original oil, by Sharon Abbott-Furze

Shore Patrol, “Shore Patrol” original oil, by Sharon Abbott-Furze

Some of the Northwest’s most notable artists will converge on Cannon Beach as the community hosts its annual fall celebration of the arts at the Stormy Weather Arts Festival, November 7-9.  Art galleries and local businesses will present special exhibits, artist demonstrations and host receptions for guest artists over the three-day festival.

It’s another great reason to stay at Tolovana Inn. 

The festival’s signature Friday night event is “Art in Action,” where artists represented by Cannon Beach galleries will demonstrate their techniques in painting, carving or sculpture.  Participating artists are:  Josh Henrie, Jeffrey Hull, Hazel Schlesinger, Sharon Abbott-Furze, Marianne Post, and Pamela Wachtler-Fermanis.  Collector- quality finished works will be for sale at the event during a silent auction that will also feature vacation packages from the Columbia Gorge/Hood River, Mt. Hood, The Dalles, Skamania Lodge and Cannon Beach resorts. The night includes a wonderful appetizer buffet, wine, and live music by Bucky Pottschmidt.

Throughout the weekend, visitors will be able to attend gallery receptions and meet guest artists.  More than  twenty musical performers will be featured throughout town.

On Saturday night, the festival showcase event will be a concert by Cooper & The Jam, recently named one of Nashville’s Top 5 Artists on the Rise, in concert at the intimate 200-seat Coaster Theatre in what will surely be a memorable night.  She performs with   power and tenacity.  Cooper and her extraordinary band have been killing it in Music City and stealing hearts across the country.

Born and raised in the rural Oregon coastal mountain range, she moved to Portland OR and put herself through college while performing in local night clubs   Upon graduation, she moved to Nashville, TN where she recently recorded her second album.  She has performed at  Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival  for the 2nd  straight year.     Doors open for festival seating at 7:00 pm and the concert will start at 7:30 pm.

A limited number of tickets are available for Art in Action and Cooper & the Jam concert are still available.

Tickets for Art in Action are $55 per ticket or $99 for two;  and concert tickets are $35 each.  To purchase and find out more about tickets purchases, click here.

Gallery visitations will last through Sunday until 5:00 PM.

Tolovana Inn: Welcome to our New Web Site

Welcome to the new Tolovana Inn web site, specifically iStock_000015191390Large (1)designed to view perfectly on a your Desktop, Tablet and Mobile devices.

We hope you will take a few moments to look around the site to see what we can provide to assure your visit is memorable.

And, remember, all of your family members (pups, too!) are welcome in our Ocean Front and Ocean View Suites.

We look forward to hosting you soon!

 

 

 

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