‘Round Tillamook

We raced down the coast after Lake Quinault, horrified at Aberdeen, redeemed by South Bend, virtually flew over the Columbia River and caught our breath at Seaside.

Seaside

Here’s a beach without logs, but with soft sand and people sitting down to picnic and relax. Plenty of room.

Seaside Beach

There is also a boardwalk –  of the paved with balustrade type – that made for a pleasant stroll along residences and businesses. One of those places is the Seaside Aquarium. Easy access to the walkway is at the end of each street.

Seaside Boardwalk

Tillamook

Down the road some more, we didn’t get much of a look at the place that evening. We hunkered down exhausted. Got up early to visit the Tillamook Cheese Factory. And factory it is. Cheese making seemed hidden in giant vats.

Tillamook Cheese Factory

Otherwise, we saw them wrapping the 2-lb cheeses and the 40-lb blocks. Wow, forty pounds! Got to taste, too. Many adorable and clever items in gift shop. Too early for ice cream tasting – non-cheese flavors.

Tillamoook 2 lb Line

Tillamook also has a Pioneer Museum, Forest Center and Quilt Museum. Many buildings sported a colorful block of different quilt patterns.

Cape Meares, the hard way

We’d heard about the Three Cape Scenic Drive. We started out with good intentions along the Tillamook Bay. It was serene at low tide. Cape Meares Lake was even more serene under gray sky. But the road was closed. Landslide?

Tillamook Bay

So, we backtracked and went along the coast to Oceanside. The town is more hillside, but the beach is flat and wide. The wet sand of low tide easy to walk on. Choose your time to walk here. Hardly any beach at high tide.

Oceanside Beach

Back on the road we headed towards Cape Meares.

Cape Meares

While Mike found the lighthouse,

Cape Meares Lighthouse

I found this unusual Sitka Spruce, called the Octopus Tree. Estimates are that it is 250-300 years old.

Sitka Spruce Octopus Tree

Lost Capes

With road construction, we lost the other two capes, but I’m happy to drive through cow land. The distant hills shrouded in fog and the flat open land in shades of green looked so beautiful.

Maybe that’s another cape in the distance.

Cape Meares Path

Munson Creek Falls

South of Tillamook and up a gravel road is Munson Creek Falls State Natural Site. Only a ¼ mile to the falls the path starts out flat, then starts climbing with stairs. I could see the top of the 260’ waterfall. Mike hiked farther to get this shot.

Website states 319′, local signs state 262′. I didn’t try the math. It’s the tallest of Oregon’s coast range.

Munson Creek Falls

It was a lush environment.

Fungi

Then we got back on our way south  – more Oregon beaches ahead.

Words by Lynn Millar. Bad photos from Lynn’s phone. Good photos by Mike Millar copyright 2013. Pictures available upon request.

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