“The Mother of All Relays”–its Hood-to-Coast Weekend

The Hood -to-Coast finish line in Seaside, in just 9 miles north of Cannon Beach.

The Hood -to-Coast finish line in Seaside, is just 9 miles north of Cannon Beach.

And they are off.

1,050 teams of runners, from every state in the union and 36 nations, have come to Oregon to compete in the 34th annual Hood-to-Coast Relay.   Another 450 teams are competing in the Portland-to-Coast and High School Challenge Walk.

That means about 18,000 runners and walkers are  participating, with each team supported by two team vans, shuttling team members between race legs.

The 198-mile Hood to Coast Relay, founded in 1982, started  at 5 a.m. Friday at Timberline Lodge near Mount Hood. The Portland-to-Coast Walk Relay, added in 1991, and the Portland to Coast High School Challenge, added in 1998, started today too.

The starting line is at Timberline Lodge and racers cross the finish line at the Seaside Turnaround, just 9 miles north from Cannon Beach, where the Tolovana Inn annually hosts teams and team supporters for this incredible event.

The teams switch participants every few miles.  The relay race has  36 legs, varying from  from about 3.5 to 7.75 miles. Each team member runs at least 3 during the non-stop event.

The race legs are long, and factoring the terrainchanges and the weekends’ forecast rain, the run can be gruelling. But the shared struggle leads to shared success, and a huge post-event party on the beach at nearby Seaside.

Each year, teams are chosen by lottery from the entries postmarked on the opening day of registration, typically in October of the previous year.   The race has sold out opening day of the lottery for the past 17 years.

 

 

Tolovana Inn site of kick-off and garden party wrap-up of annual Cannon Beach Cottage & Garden Tour

On of the notable homes in Cannon Beach is the former summer residence of past Gov. Oswald West.

On of the notable homes in Cannon Beach is the former summer residence of past Gov. Oswald West.

Tickets for the September 12-13 Cannon Beach Cottage & Garden Tour are now available for purchase.

The two day event, now in its 12th year, is a major fundraiser for the Cannon Beach History Center & Museum, and provides participants an opportunity to visit unique coastal homes and private art collections.

The tour will begin Saturday, Sept. 12, at noon, at the Tolovana Inn, with a luncheon prepared by Culinary Capers, followed by a round-table discussion moderated by CBHCM board president, Kimberley Speer-Miller, who will provide the unique history of Cannon Beach.   Equipped with a new perspective, attendees will start the self-guided tour.

The Saturday tour begins at 1:00 pm and will conclude with a fun reception at the Cannon Beach History Center and Museum including wine, live music and appetizers and a raffle.

On Sunday, Tolovana Inn will be the site of a wrap-up event, an English-style, Garden Tea Party.  Guests will enjoy Oregon-made teas, homemade scones and treats in a flower-filled setting.   The event will be highlighted by a presentations from Debbie Teashon, owner of the Rainy Side Gardener and writer.   Her topic will be “Life Beyond the Two-Season Garden.   She is the co-author of Gardening for the Home Brewer: Plants for Making Beer, Wine, Gruit, Cider, Perry, and More.

Tickets for each event are available to purchase separately. Luncheon and lecture tickets are $25; Cottage & Garden Tour tickets are $30, and Garden Tea tickets, $20.  A weekend event package is $60. All tickets can be purchased on line throught the museum.  (www.cbhistory.org) or by phone at 503-436-9301.

51st annual Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest kicks off summer

Teams work during last year's Sandcastle contest.

Teams work during last year’s Sandcastle contest.

Saturday, June 20 will mark the 51st Annual Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest, kicking off summer with the most popular event of the year.

Dozens of teams participate.  Amateurs compete in large group (5-8), small group (1-4), teen and children’s divisions to earn medals, ribbons and bragging rights. Masters teams, comprised of previous masters and large group winners, from throughout the west coastm Canada and afar, come to compete for cash prizes.  The creations are magical.

Sandcastle building plots are laid out in the morning. A back hoe will be used to dig holes near each building site to provide a source of water.  Masters teams typically utilize construction forms, similar to those used for pouring concrete.  Sand is shoveled, tamped and packed into the forms to make large and elaborate sand sculpture creations that will hold without crumbling under their own weight.

Teams work from 7:00 am to 1:00pm, with the creations best viewed right before judging takes place in the early afternoon and winners are announced.

The stunningly NANCY MCCARTHY — The Daily Astorian Cannon Beach Sandcastle Day 2008beautiful, but temporary works of art are usually washed away with the next high tide.

To accommodate the influx of spectators, this is the one day of the year when parking is allowed on the sand in Cannon Beach.Other special events to celebrate the Sandcastle Contest throughout the weekend include a kick-off parade Friday at 5p.m,  a  Saturday Night Hootenanny at the Chamber Hall and a huge beach Bon Fire at the Tolovana Wayside starting at 8:00 pm, just north of the Tolovana Inn.

To register for the contest, contact the Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce at (503) 436-2623.   Details can be found online and in this brochure.

Sandcastle bu

Coastal Sunsets at Cannon Beach a Spectacular Display of Color

Glorious Oregon coastal sunset, (George Vetter Photography)

Glorious Oregon coastal sunset, (George Vetter Photography)

As the days get longer, rooms with a view at Tolovana Inn are even more desirable.

That’s because Mother Nature’s gorgeous coastal sunsets are a beauty to behold and almost impossible to describe.

When the sun drops toward the Pacific Ocean horizon, the backdrops of color are breathtaking.  A maritime layer can turn the sun into a glowing ball of orange and the landscape a sky of golden light.   The evening sky can reveal a color palette from pink, purple and blues to orange, yellow and red.

Spring and early summer nights frequently offer a show stopping display of nature’s glory that must be experienced at least once in a lifetime, and fortunately for most Oregonians, much more than that.

Daylight lasts over 14 hours now, with sunset approaching 8:34pm.

With ocean front and ocean view rooms, Tolovana Inn provides front row viewing for magical nights on the coast, one of many highlights of any trip to Cannon Beach.

Call today to reserve your  stay in one of the  spacious, ocean front or ocean view room at the Tolovana Inn, in Cannon Beach.

 

 

The May 1-3 Cannon Beach “Spring Art Unveiling” includes Edible Art, too.

Painting by David Jonathan Marshall at Modern Villa Gallery

Painting by David Jonathan Marshall at Modern Villa Gallery

The Spring Art Unveiling provides another great reason to stay at the Tolovana Inn in Cannon Beach.

At the weekend long Spring Art Unveiling, hosted by the Cannon Beach Gallery Group, its members spotlight new work by their chosen artists during special demos and receptions with live music,  May 1-3.

For the fourth year in a row, the spring art weekend will include “Art from the Chef’s Table” as twenty-nine of the towns chef’s, candy makers and baristas prepare  unique food and drink creations, inspired by featured gallery works,  and available just for this special weekend.

A complete list of gallery events and inspired menu items can be downloaded from the CB Gallery group site.

For reservations at Tolovana Inn, call 1-800-333-8890.

Honoring the Oregon Beach Bill in Cannon Beach

The lines were once drawn in the sand, where drift wood was once stacked to keep the public off  public beaches.

The lines were once drawn in the sand, where drift wood was once stacked to limit access to the beach.

 

It was 1967, when Oregon Governor Tom McCall signed the Oregon Beach Bill, declaring “the public would have free and uninterrupted use of the beaches.”

On Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22, at 4 p.m., Cannon Beach will unveil the first commemorate sign on the beach, recognizing this progressive legislation, now 48 years old.

At the 1967 bill signing, Governor McCall honored former Governor Oswald West, who authored 1913 legislation declaring all state beaches to be a public highway, thus maintaining public access.

As the bill became state law, McCall quoted West, saying of the Oregon coastline: “No local selfish interest should be permitted, through politics or otherwise, to destroy or even impair this great birthright of our people.”

What a blessing that has been to all Oregon citizens and guests!

Tolovana Inn is proud to honor this important legislation on Earth Day, and every day.

Specially, the Oregon Beach Bill declares that all wet sand lying within 16 vertical feet of the low tide line be the property of the state of Oregon, with public easements of all beach areas up to the line of vegetation. It also requires that all property owners seek state permits for building and other use on the ocean shore.

 

 

Governor Oswald West, who in 1913 called the shoreline the public's "birthright," was the first guest at Warren Hotel, built in 1911, on the site of today's Tolovana Inn.

Governor Oswald West, who in 1913 called access to the  shoreline the public’s “birthright,” was the first guest at Warren Hotel, built in 1911, on the site of today’s Tolovana Inn.

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Cannon Beach Yoga Festival, March 6-8

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Yoga: World Class Instructors; World Class Location

If you are a regular practitioner of yoga, or have thought you might like to learn more about it, there is no better way to immerse yourself into this stress-reducing and healthful activity that at the Cannon Beach Yoga Festival,  March 6-8.

The festival draws yogis and students from around the region and beyond for a weekend full of workshops, lectures, discussion and meditation.  Come with an open mind and you are sure to be inspired by the experience–and by the stunning beauty of Cannon Beach.

Events are held at various locations around town, including the Tolovana Inn.  A full festival pass includes opening and closing ceremonies, ten hours of workshops and shuttles between locations.  You can also purchase a one-day pass, or a partial festival pass, providing access into individual workshops, as space allows.

Learn more about this uniquely relaxing event and register online at Cannon Beach Yoga Festival.   When you book accommodations at the Tolovana Inn, be sure to ask about special festival rates.

 

 

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 

Holiday fare: Fresh, Oregon Dungeness in season now!

Dungeness-Crab-Salad

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.

 

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