Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Monday, June 11 -- We stopped at Rockaway Beach, Oregon, this morning to look for sand dollars but were unable to find any....dang. It was fun looking anyway! We did see Twin Rocks which aren't really twins at all.

Rockaway Beach sign

Paul looking for sand dollars

Twin Rocks

We then stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory.


Marsha's dad was a farmer, so he will appreciate the following two pictures. Sorry some how the weight of the 5 year old got cut off.
Dairy cows growth

A day in the life of a dairy farmer…WOW!
day of dairy farmer

This place has factory tours down to a science. The Tillamook Cheese Factory, often called a “Cheese Lover's Paradise,” welcomes nearly one million visitors each year.

The free, self-guided tour gives you a look from the second-story observation area of the cheesmaking room and packaging line, with videos, historical displays and interactive kiosks along the way.

Tillamook Cheese production line.

We were fortunate to view the packing process for about 15 minutes before they shut down the line for a break. It's really a very interesting process to watch them cut the 40-pound blocks into the different sizes for packaging.

cutting cheese

Each of the eight stainless steel cheese vats holds approximately 53,500 pounds of fresh milk. It takes TEN pounds of milk to make ONE pound of Tillamook cheese.


After you see the how it's made, you are free to head downstairs to the sample area. They have about a half dozen types of cheese on the counter for free bites. Of course, all the different cheeses are available to purchase in the company store.

To be honest with our readers, we were a little disappointed with the Tillamook Cheese Factory tour. It gets really hipped-up and in our opinion it isn't anything special. But what do we know....a million visitors a year tour this place!

We then drove down Cape Meares to see Big Spruce.

Big Spruce sign

It's just a short hike through a pretty amazing forest of giant Spruce Trees to see this giant.

It is so tall there is no way we could get the entire tree in one photo.
Big Spruce
Paul and Big Spruce

Another amazing "small find” here on the Oregon coast.

Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint was our next stop. Again Wildlife Volunteers had viewing scopes set-up to see nesting Cormorant in the cliffs off the coast. Also, there were hundreds of Common Murre swimming in the water. An eagle was in the area and these birds fled their nesting areas for the safety of the open water.


Common Murre
Common Murre

We then hiked the path down to the Cape Meares Lighthouse. This is Oregon's shortest lighthouse standing only 38 feet atop Cape Meares and 217 feet above the ocean. It has a rotating eight-sided Fresnel lens that was first lit on or about January 1, 1890. The beam is visible to ships 21 miles away.

Cape Meares Lighthouse

We wanted to take the tour, but it was all booked.

On our way back to the parking lot, we took a side path to Octopus Tree. This popular attraction is an unusually large Sitka spruce aptly named for its unique shape. And yes, it has a unique resemblance to an octopus.

Octopus tree sign

Octopus tree

Sign for the day.
pronto pup sign

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y'all back real soon. Have a great day!


  1. I love Pronto Pups! Just ask Donna, she'll tell you how disgusting they are...but I love 'em! Short light house...tall tree...pretty extreme! Good to see some sunshine in those pictures!

  2. Did you try one of those dogs? Those trees are pretty awesome, I like the octopus tree best.

  3. Did you go to Pronto Pup in Otis?

    You two are something else! You see everything! We havent seen those trees... and we have lived in Oregon for a combined 100+ years.
    Thanks for the tours of our State!

  4. Are you two not getting tired yet? Can't believe how much you see and do in a day!

  5. I can't believe I actually see a picture of Paul without a coat on. Finally. You are wearing all of us out.

  6. Oh, they were FRATERNAL twins, not identical!

    Sorry to hear the Tillamook Cheese Factory tour was a disappointment. Hopefully, the samples helped make up for it!

    That's an amazing spruce tree!

    Isn't that the cutest lighthouse...perfect for those challenged by heights or too many steps to reach the top.

  7. I wonder if those guys packaging all that cheese could actually stand to even eat a piece of cheese after a full day at work?

    Beaches, lighthouses, rocks and trees, you've covered Oregon pretty well today.

  8. You get to add another ''big tree' to your 'big tree collection'. Looks like another great day on the road.

  9. I have to agree with you re: the cheese factory. I lived there years ago, before every thing was glassed in... then, the tour would take you up close and personal. It wasn't so commercialized then. When we go to Tillamook though, one of my favorite places is LaTeaDah.... great, fun place to have high tea. Re: sand dollars.... next time you get up into Washington (Long Beach) go to Leadbetter Point!!
    When you get there just cut cross country towards the beach.... so many, many sand dollars !!! Take a back pack..:)

  10. Cape Meares was one of our favorite stops!..nice short stubby lighthouse!!..and the octopus tree too! are sure doing the coast up very well!!
    there is the three capes tour too..will send you the link..

  11. Cape Meares is gorgeous. Actually, Tillamook Cheese Factory is a place we always stop for all the free samples. I guess I've never thought of it as a tour. You've got to be at the beach early to find the sand dollars and usually the beaches that aren't very crowded or others will have already walked away with them. We found that Manhattan Beach .. just up the road from Rockaway was a good place to find them.

  12. We did the Cabot Cheese Factory tour last July in Vermont and felt the same way as you and we had to pay $2 to do the tour at least yours was free. We made sure when we were finished the tour that we ate our $2 worth of samples. Also there was no discount at the factory store on their cheese in fact it was more expense than what we paid at Walmart.

    Love the scenery in Oregon. Your pictures do it justice.

    Kevin and Ruth

  13. I'm not a big one for organized tours. A cheese factory? Ya, not sure. I enjoyed your take on it though. Thanks for sharing.

    On the "day in the life of a farmer" chart, my Dad always managed to take a brief nap right after lunch.
    Hm, maybe he should have been doing that "business meeting" instead? I think I just figured out why we never had any money!

  14. Please tell me you had ice cream at the Cheese factory!!!

    If you're still in the area and have time, there's so much to explore--Go to Pacific City (nearby) and have lunch by the haystack rock in the Pelican Brewery. Hopefully, you can be there on Saturday because it's so much fun to see the Dory Boat activity.

    Go to Cape Lookout State Park. What a great day we had there.

    I'm loving your blog.

  15. Gee, we missed seeing both the Cape Meares Lighthouse and the Octopus Tree! Now we gotta go back, Shucks and darn, how terrible to have to do that -- can hardly wait. And Pronto Pups? Used to love 'em with mustard. When Playland at the Beach was open in San Francisco, that was a favorite treat. Another reason to return to the Oregon Coast!

  16. Man, I read that day in the life of a dairy farmer, was exhausted just reading it and had to take a nap. Loved the pint sized lighthouse!

  17. Twins were born at the same time. They are not all identical. :)

    I'm still enjoying your tour up the coast. Thanks for bringing me along.

  18. You packed a lot into your day ... taking advantage of the nice weather. That's one lighthouse that wouldn't require too many steps to get to the top :-)


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