Short Hikes, Beaches, and Wine

Moolack Beach, Oregon Coast

By the end of the day, my cheeks were sore from smiling. I had just spent the most relaxing and indulgent day on a secluded, undeveloped beach on the Oregon Coast. It was amazing.

 Moolack beach Yaquina Light House

For months, I dreamed of organizing a picturesque day on the beach. We live within a five-minute hike of Moolack Beach on the north side of Yaquina Head Lighthouse. This beach is only accessed through small neighborhood trails that descend a few hundred feet down to a mostly sandy sore line. I’ve spent hours there walking the beach and collecting bric-a-brac to decorate our apartment. When the tide is really low, my husband and dog search the tide pools for interesting sea creatures to show me.

Beach combing MoolackMost of the year, the beach is cold and windy. For this reason, there are not a lot of tourists filling up the space. You can spend hours here without seeing a soul. The only hint of human presence are the homes perched on the cliffs behind you, and the Yaquina Head Lighthouse guiding fishermen to Newport’s Yaquina Bay.

Having guests in town, I knew this was the perfect opportunity to execute my plan. With a giddy excitement, I purchased fresh oysters, shrimp, and crab from the local fish market on the Newport Bay Front. On the way back to our place, I picked up some cheese, bread, and wine at the grocery store. I almost skipped as I jogged back to the car with the wine. For some reason the wine made it all more exciting. Despite my years being of legal drinking age, I still get excited to pair wine with outdoor adventures. Something about its presence (not just the imbibing) make everything charming and delightful.

With food purchased, blankets and dishes packed, we headed down to the beach on a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon. The trail is short but steep, providing a wooded portal to the beach ahead. Along the way down the coastal evergreens create framed views of the light house and the beach. The smile started to grow deeper on my face as my guests awed at the view in front of them. Only a short hike down, we began finding a place to lay our blankets for our beach picnic.

Moolack Beach from Cliff

With a spot selected, out came the food and wine. My husband teased me seeing that I was near childlike excitement for our meal. He was right. These moments of excitement in my life have become fewer as adult responsibilities and concerns have taken their toll. It was invigorating and I let the smile expand to include a twinkle in my eye.

Oysters wine shrimp beach picnicAs we consumed the meal, laughter and conversation flowed easily for all of us. Before long the food and wine were gone. It was time to take a leisurely walk along the shore. As the rest of my party sauntered in and out of the tide pools, I relaxed on the blanket with a book. It was hard to read in that setting. My mind wanted to take in the beauty of my surroundings. After a few minutes, I relented and set the book aside.

After what seemed like hours, we all laid down for a sun bathed nap. Snuggling with my dog and husband, the constant hush of the ocean waves lulled us to sleep.

The experiences of that day have become the calm place I take my mind during the stress of daily life. I had spent the most relaxing and indulgent day on a secluded, undeveloped beach on the Oregon Coast. It was amazing.