Thursday, July 12, 2012

Three Capes Scenic Drive - Tillamook Oregon

We left Coyote Point RV Park right before 11 am, and took our time traveling the 45 miles to our new spot, Pleasant Valley RV Park just outside of Tillamook, Oregon.  The last 15 miles or so and you could really tell you are in dairy country. The cool, wet climate of Oregon's Tillamook Valley is a great place for dairy farmers to raise cow.
The RV Park is very quiet.  There are 76 sites, but only around 40 which are not taken with people who live in the park.  Since I lived in a RV park for 6+ years, it does not bother me at all.  Everyone keeps their site nice and neat, and from what I can tell, either everyone is at work, or some keep their RV here for like a weekend retreat.  Anyway, we are here for 2 days, and I would not mind if it was longer, but we only need two days to see what we want to see.  And that started with today's day trip.

After being here for about 90 minutes, we left to go on the Three Capes Scenic Drive, which is a drive which takes you from Tillamook over to Cape Meares, then south down the coast past Cape Lookout and then Cape Kiwanda near Pacific City, then back over to highway 101 and back up to the RV Park.  We need lunch, and what caught my eye was the Blue Heron French Cheese Company.  They have a deli, and that link will take you to their deli offerings.  Marcia got a Riviera Sandwich, which is a vegetarian delight with dill havarti cheese, red and yellow peppers, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, mayo and mustard, while I got the Blue Heron Classic, which was turkey layered with creamy Blue Heron Brie cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, mayo and mustard.  Both were great, and we waited until we got to Cape Meares to enjoy them.  While I was in getting our lunch, I sent a text to Marcia telling her that tomorrow she will want to come in and see it for herself.  They have so many things....cheese, pasta, mustards, dressings, spices, jams & jellies, olives, sauces....check out their website under "gourmet" and you will see what I mean.

Cape Meares is small headland just south of the entrance to Tillamook Bay.  When we drove by the Bay, it was low tide, and there were many places which had sand exposed.  There is a small community called Cape Meares between the physical "cape" and this if you take the drive, just follow the signs to the lighthouse.  At the lighthouse there is a nice parking area with views of the ocean to the north and south, and a .2 mile walk down to the lighthouse, and .2 walk back up the steep pathway back to the parking lot.  I heard one guy say, "it feels like .2 of a mile down, and .4 of a mile back up".  It was too steep for the scooter, so I did the short hike alone, after lunch.

Above is the view we had for lunch...don't know what was better, the view or the sandwich!  Both were just great!!  Still a bit hazy along the coast, but much better than yesterday...but still hard to get good shots at time.

The walk down gave me a good view of the north side.
Much of the walk was under the shade of these Sitka Spruce trees, which make real good frames of the views below.
As you walk down the path, the top of the lighthouse appears. 
This picture from the top (below) is the best picture I could get since when you go down below, I couldn't get the entire lighthouse in the frame.  There are times that I wish I had a better camera where I could exchange lenses as needed...but I sure did not want to carry a camera bag back up to the car, that is for sure.
The views looking out are real nice, but the bird life is only a fraction from the last lighthouse we visited yesterday south of Lincoln City.
And then there is the climb back up..which is a bit steeper than this photo shows, but nothing that most people can't handle.  I know the scooter would have had problems since it had problems with steep inclines while we were in Yosemite back in May.
 And from this side, the views of the south are nice, and it is not as shady as the northern path.
We then finished the rest of the drive along the coast, going down to view Haystack Rock at Cape Kiwanda.  We were getting a bit tired, and the drive was nice, but you had to fight for areas to turnout to get pictures, and we passed up a few.  But we have had a nice look at the coast of Oregon from Coos Bay to the Tillamook Valley.  We still have another 60 miles to go to get to the Fort Stevens area.

Tomorrow we plan to visit the Tillamook Cheese Factory and the Air Museum, along with a not so short stop for lunch at the Blue Heron French Cheese Company.  (Looks like we might have to have a few more free nights at a casino in the near future!)

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