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!


Sunday, June 10 – We drove up to the town of Seaside, Oregon, today.

lewis and clark statue

Seaside is called Oregon's first resort town because of the 1920's-era Promenade that runs nearly two miles along the beachfront. It is also here that members of Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery party replenished their salt stores.

Today was a crowded beach day along the Promenade because a sand soccer tournament was being held. There were 100's of kids and adults playing soccer in the sand and 100's more walking throughout downtown waiting to play later in the day.

sand soccer

Notice…they dress a bit differently here on the beach than on the East coast. This time of year calls for …. Coats, hats, gloves, etc.
sand soccer 2

Broadway Avenue is the bustling downtown street where vacationers can explore the many small shops and grab a bite to eat in one of the many restaurants. The sidewalks were crowded, and the economy was alive and well in Seaside.


water front

It is a really nice small town, and worth a stop along Costal-101.

When we attended the Sand Castle Festival, we did not take the time to visit the downtown area of Cannon Beach. We decided that this was a great time to do just that.

Cannon Beach was originally named Ecola by Wm. Clark of Lewis and Clark. It was renamed Cannon Beach after a cannon washed ashore from the schooner, U.S.S. Shark, which wrecked while attempting to leave the Columbia River on September 10, 1846.

This is a replica of the cannon. The real one is housed in the Museum in Cannon Beach.cannon,

The downtown area is filled with historic buildings. They have a walking tour, but Marsha granted Paul's wish and didn't make him do it this time.

This building was built in 1926 and housed the Round Table Restaurant. The 12-person round table was the local gossip center for many years. It is now the Post Office, and the gossip continues.

post office

The Library isn't in a historical building but blends in so nicely with the rest of the surroundings.

The Coaster Theatre Playhouse is lovely.

Very attractive sidewalks in Cannon Beach.sidewalk

Also, for all you film buffs, the film Twilight (2008) was filmed here.

On our way back down the coast to our campground in Nehalem Bay, we noticed the tide was out giving us access to the base of the famous Haystack Rock.

Haystack Rock

As stated in an earlier post, Haystack Rock towers 235 feet above the beach and is Cannon Beach's most recognizable landmark and one of the largest sea stacks on America's Pacific coast.

With the tide out, you could walk right up to the base of the rock and 100s of people were doing just that!

base of rock

They had volunteers from the Haystack Rock Wildlife Refuge to answer questions, point out interesting features, and keep the people out of protected areas. It was wonderful listening to them discuss the marine life in this area. They explained how everything is connected to everything else.

sign at Haystack Rock

At the base of the rock are fascinating intertidal creatures clinging to rocks and in the pools left by the receding tide. Sea stars, anemones, hermit crabs, limpets, snails, mussels, barnacles and dozens of other unique animals crowd the rocks and fill the intertidal zone with life.

Sea Stars in this area measure 2-12" and range in color from orange to purple. sea stars

dozen of sea stars

Anemones were everywhere in the intertidal zone .

Anemones were everywhere in the tidepools.

The rocks are filled with Tufted Puffins (Unfortunately, they were hiding from the near-by Eagles, and we did not get to see them.), Western Gulls, Pigeons, Cormorants, Black Oystercatchers, Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons. One of the volunteers had a monocular set-up so you could view a pair of nesting Black Oystercatchers and a Cormorant nest. That was very cool.

Black Oystercatcher nesting.
Black Oystercatcher

Western Gull nesting.
Western Gull

We really enjoyed our return trip to Haystack Rock and would encourage anyone touring the area to see the Rock at both high-tide and low-tide.

We spent the remainder of the BEAUTIFUL SUNNY day sitting outside, walking Bella on the campground trails, and doing a couple maintenance chores on the motorhome. Paul used the Solution to clean the entire motorhome. Marsha, of course, worked on her pine needle basket hobby! It was one of the WONDERFUL, BLESSED day of being outdoors.

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