Neahkahnie Mountain: It’s a Thing

Let’s take the Traveling Wine Glasses on a new adventure! I have no idea where we are going or what surprise(s) Andy has in mind. We cruise to Cannon Beach knowing full well we won’t get a parking spot, but hope we can stop for snacks and a bathroom break.

Here we get our first surprise! Sadly, it’s not parking, and Andy has to circle a parking lot so I can run to a public potty.

Surprise Invasion

Not a Corgi from that actual day. Just an excuse for a cute picture!
Photo by fatty corgi on Unsplash

Our surprise is much more fun, and cute too! Cannon Beach is infested with Corgis! Coming and going, this way and that, Corgis are everywhere! It turns out that every summer this tiny beach town hosts Cannon Beach Corgi Day, a festival dedicated to these stubby little dogs with cute butts. For today, Cannon Beach has to be the Corgi Capitol!

But we can’t be distracted by the cuteness: Andy is on a quest, so we head south out of town. He’s scouting for the Neahkahnie Mountain trail, just off 101, south of Oswald West State Beach. The North Neahkahnie trailhead is not easy to find. We drive past it several times before he casually mentions that we will be hiking a mountain today.

What?! Now I am secretly hoping he can’t find the trail! I hear Neahkahnie does have a beach, by the way. It might be a fun place to sip some wine. But nope, he found the trailhead, so here we go. Oh yay.

Going Up… WAY Up!

Neahkahnie Mountain is located on the northern Oregon coast just off highway 101, about an hour and 45 minute drive from Portland. From the north trail, it’s a 5 mile out-and-back hike with an elevation of 1450 feet, the highest point being 1631 feet. They say it’s considered a moderate hike. (I might argue with that, if I knew exactly who “they” were!) The payoff of this “moderate’ hike is the jaw dropping views of Nehalem Bay and the coast line below.

Besides the awesome views, this mountain also keeps a secret. It’s haunted by lost Spanish treasure! The legend dates back to the 1600’s and is filled with conflicting accounts of the crew of a Spanish Galleon bringing a chest of gold on shore, digging a hole in the mountainside, murdering one of the shipmates, and burying him with the treasure! Sadly, the booty wasn’t to be ours that day. Not that treasure, anyway.

Ok, it’s really not that tough of a hike. I guess I have graduated to Level “Moderate.” (He just did not tell me I had been promoted until the hike was over. Maybe he’s not as dumb as he looks!) The trail is a zigzag of switchbacks is shaded with moss covered spruce trees. Not so bad.

Can’t See the Forest for the Trees

I have NO IDEA of the view behind me!

But there is a surprise at the base of the final assent to the top: a steep scramble up dirt, moss, and rocks to the view point. No way! Really?! I have had about enough of this stuff. But ok, he has the wine in his backpack. I give him the stink eye the whole way up while he shoots photos me of me totally oblivious to views behind me below.

There actually is a safe, easy trail that will take you up to the view point. But “Mr. Surprises” decides not to tell me that until my climb is a success!

The summit is a small rocky outcrop that looks over the coastline of the Pacific Ocean with Nehalem River, Nehalem Bay, and Manzanita below. This tiny patch of rocks is covered with people taking turns getting their iconic selfies. It’s a popular patch of rocks.

Now it’s our turn to have our photo shoot time. Andy whips out the wine glasses, cracks open a bottle of Oak Knoll 2015 Twilight Blush Festival Edition Rosé, and turns on Facebook Live to announce to everyone that “We are a Thing!” Here he is, for the first time publicly totally outing our relationship to the world on top of this mountain!

We Are a Thing: The Actual FB Live Video

Notice my surprise? It isn’t thin air!

I am not prepared for this! Only our inner circles know about our status to this point. We had been keeping our groove publicly chill, just appearing to be pals. Andy is in the public eye and I had experienced a few heartbreaks that ended with social media humiliation in the past. But okay, now we are “The Andy and Darcy Thing!” Lets sip some wine. Cheers!


Look at those big ol’ oysters!

Back down on earth, we don’t feel like heading back to town just yet. We take the long way home heading south and stopping in Wheeler for some local oysters. We find a little hole in the wall bar on the bay with sunset views, right by Wheeler Marina on the winding Nehalem River that empties into the Pacific. Sadly, Tsunami is no longer open.

You can imagine that after climbing to the top of a mountain with haunted buried treasure and doing our first Facebook Live, we are feeling brave and super hungry!

We order up a dozen oyster shooters and ask the bartender to choose cocktails for us. When the shooters come, they are huge! These are the biggest oysters we have ever seen.

The bartender surprises us with a spicy habanero screwdriver for Andy and a cucumber Cosmo for me. It’s like knows us!