Saturday, May 28, 2011

Wait ‘Till the Sun Shines (Charley)

So - the rain finally caught up with us. Really can’t complain, though, two or three days out of about 80 isn’t bad. And, all it did was make us change our thinking for a few days - we went inside. Gary opted for a massage and Elizabeth went for that mani/pedi she has missed for 11 weeks! We also did a quick ‘car tour’ of the areas in Newport we had not yet gotten to - including the Yaquina Bay lighthouse (this made the third of the nine Oregon lighthouses for us) and yet another of the McCullough bridges (this is claimed to be the most photographed of his bridges). The Yaquina Bay lighthouse is the only wooden lighthouse on the Oregon coast, the only one with living quarters attached and the oldest of the Oregon lighthouses.

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse - the oldest.

Yaquina Bay Bridge.

A nice Chinese dinner with a couple we met at the recent coach park was also in order. (We hope to meet up with them again in Astoria and then at the Tiffin rally in Welches.)

Then it was time for a moving day. So, other than the fact that Gary had to drive in the rain, the weather was not a factor. We moved another HARD 70 miles up the Oregon coast - from Newport to Tillamook. Sound familiar?? Yes - it is the cheese place. So we drove through a lot of cow pastures on the way. After finding a place to park and setting up, we were off to the Tillamook cheese factory. VERY INTERESTING!!

The Tillamook cheese factory is a century old dairy cooperative producing 58 million pounds of cheese each year. A visitor to the factory has the opportunity to see milk come in the front door and go out the back door as packaged blocks of cheese. And then, of course, you have the opportunity to taste - and then buy;-)

This joint was really cheesy.

BUT, you will probably never guess the best part of the cheese factory?!?!?! It is the ice cream!! Yes - ice cream. Being a dairy cooperative they don’t JUST make cheese. AND, their ice cream is delicious. Especially the chocolate peanut butter ice cream with hot peanut butter topping;-)!!!! What more could one ask for to make them happy on a rainy afternoon?!?!

Saturday we awoke to sunny skies again, which led to a road trip to the beach on the Three Capes Scenic Loop. First stop was Cape Meares to see - what else - the Cape Meares Lighthouse. This is the shortest of all the Oregon lighthouses (as you must have noticed by now all lighthouses, bridges, trees, etc. have to be the ‘-est’ of something - oldest, shortest, tallest, etc.).

Cape Meares Lighthouse-the shortest.

As is typical of the spots where a lighthouse is placed - the views are magnificent! Especially the view of the Three Arch Rocks.

3 Arch Rocks seen from the Cape Meares Lighthouse.

The candelabra-shaped Octopus Tree also lives nearby. This is a large Sitka spruce that is thought to have been ‘shaped‘ by the Killamook Indians.

This tree really spruced things up.

The rocks and trees are homes to many forms of bird life and the park includes many interpretive viewing areas. Today the bald eagle was the rare sighting. Unfortunately, we were about 30 seconds too late to ‘capture’ both the parent and youth - but, Gary did a good job of getting the youth as he was catching the upward thermals and going heaven bound!

Gorgeous young eagle..too far away for a really clear shot.

By the time we reached Netarts Bay, we had worked up an appetite. The patio at The Schooner Restaurant was a perfect place to enjoy the ocean, Cape Lookout view, sun and good food. Almost couldn’t pry us away. But, we had more territory to cover - so, on to the third Cape - Cape Kiwanda. What a kick this was - cars right on the beach and sand surfing!

Parking on the beach was the norm in this little village.

Might have some sand in your knickers after slip-sliding down this hill.

Tillamook is not just farmland - it adjoins gorgeous woodlands. Unfortunately, in 1933 catastrophic fires blackened some 550 square miles of northwestern Oregon’s old-growth Douglas fir. A favorite hike in the area is a quarter-mile walk to Munson Creek Falls, which winds through stands of gargantuan Sitka spruce and red cedar trees that managed to escape the burn. At the end of the walk is the highest (there is that ‘-est’ again) waterfall in Oregon’s Coast Range - a clear stream that plunges 319 feet over basalt cliffs. Truly a beautiful spot -

A very potholed road led to this charming waterfall .

Perhaps you can tell that the rain did not slow us down much. We just moved inside until the blue skies returned.

One other 'sunny' thing happened on Friday - Gary's Mother's house closed;-) This is a great relief for Gary and his brother - so, we celebrated BIG!!

Still more to experience here in Tillamook - will let you know about that next time.

Happy the sun is back - Elizabeth & Gary


  1. How fun. I did this trip myself a few years back. Liked your post so much I shared your photo and link on my OR travel page

    1. Glad you liked the blog. Thanks for posting a link on your site.