Cannon Beach Confidential

An anonymous Oregonian thing.


I’m in the Portsmouth, NH; the Ocean City, MD; the Myrtle Beach, SC; the Panama City, FL, of the Pacific North West: Cannon Beach, Oregon. My wife and I came out to see our first grandchild, our four month-old grandson Riley Paul Martin, aka Bubba; RPM; Riley Boo; the Ri Guy and other bits of gagification that mothers and grandmothers seem to think endearing. I would like the kid to grow up without noticeable tics or other unwanted spasmodic affectations, so I just call him Hey You! He doesn’t even know who “You” is! Joke’s on him.

Outback Turbo Thule.


But we are not here to talk about my grandson, or the fact that he has already been signed by Notre Dame (10.5 lbs at birth, about 2.2 more metrically), or that he can crap an incredible number of times a day (memory is so weak!). No, we are here to discuss the fact that every fourth car here, not only in the paradise that is Cannon Beach, but of all of OREGON (Paul can back me up), is a Subaru of one flavor or another.

Alien surfers.


Not only that, but they all have Yakima, Thule, or (as gauche as it may be) Sears coffins on their roofs, or are in line at Pep Boys to get them. Either that or surfboards. Pass the granola. I interviewed a young couple from Alberta today who were returning their rental surfboards. They seemed normal, and even spoke a dialect that I could understand (High Plains Gibberish-HPG), and claimed that they had a Yakima carrier for their skis in the winter (11 months out of the year). But be very careful, Subaru owners often appear to be human.

Ebony and Ivory, kinda.


Case in point. It can be difficult to find a parking space in downtown metropolitan Cannon Beach. Sometimes it may take minutes to find an open spot. But doncha know, one opened up for us, as if by MAGIC, next to another Forester in no time at all. Subis take care of their own! Spooky, eh?

Hey mon, it’s a Turbo!


Cannon Beach is a cosmic magnet not only for Subarus, but also Mercedes Turbo Diesels. I met the lovely owner of this 1985 TD with 225k just outside her shop in CB. I asked her if she minded that I photograph it for a car blog that had 70,000 hits per month! (actually 350,000 “hits” per month – Ed)  She was impressed but concerned that the car hadn’t been washed recently. Recently! I wanted to add for 20 years or more, but being Mr. Tactful, I said that I loved cars with patina. She gave me a sly smile that indicted she liked my smooth manner, but silently was thinking “kiss off, loser!”. Such is the day in the life of a hard-core automotive blogger.

The Trifecta? Not quite.


The Trifecta would be an Outback with a Yakima coffin on the roof and a “Keep Portland Weird” bumper sticker. Dead Head stickers no longer count. So far I have found an Impreza with a Yakima and an Outback with a Thule (sorry, loss of half a point), but no Outback with a Yakima and a Keep Portland Weird bumper sticker. There is still hope. I am going to devote my remaining days here to documenting such. And if I can’t find it, I’ll fabricate it.

But check out the photo above. The judges are quasi apoplectic! Is it? No, but nice try. Not a Trifecta.

It’s a TD station wagon with a windshield sun blocker (Oh really? When was the last time the sun shone on the Upper Left Coast?); a silver Forester approaching from the rear; a shiny Merc with gold emblems on the hubcaps (please, can we be any more pretentious?) across the street; and a Bentley. Give me an effing break! A Bentley? Who do you want to impress? Subaru owners? Sh*t and fall back in it! The TD is in front of a Birkenstock store! Misplaced emphasis! Just to let you know, a Bentley in CB is just another four-door sedan. And your 60 year-old wife’s orange hair is just pathetic.

There, I feel better now.

Most Outbacks are Navy Blue.


I had just about given up finding the definitive Subaru when this lovely example parked next to us at our $39/night de luxe motel, with pool and color TV, in Baker City, OR (in far-eastern Oregon – Ed). Notice the aftermarket heavy-duty tailgate grab. Must not work too well as the tailgate was not latched.

The lap of luxury.


I don’t know what year this Outback was, or how many miles were on it (probably a Brazilian+) but the interior looks to be in pretty good shape (for the shape it’s in). We do know, however, that the owner is the sporting type, given the five speed and the Hot and Spicy Cheez-Its. No need to fight glare to take the pic, the owner didn’t find it important to close the windows the night before.

I be tough.


The VW Jetta (with the tomb on top) from Idaho should look this good when it reaches a comparable age (it won’t—it will crap out two minutes after the warranty expires). The Outback seems to be saying to the veedub, “I fart in your general direction”. The front license plate is in the cargo area in case the Heat becomes concerned. The cracked windshield doesn’t seem to be a much of a bother either. This is one beautiful car.

I’ve got a ton more photos of Subarii with tombs on top that I shot in the past week. But come on, how much torture can use guys take? On the road it was almost rhythmic—one, two, three, yah, another Subaru. Yep, Outback. Yep, Dark Blue. Yep, coffin on top. Almost makes me want to like broughams. Almost.


Riley would say Hi! if he could, but he can’t. Maybe next year.