Friday, July 18, 2014

Two in Tillamook



We’ve spent the past two nights next to the very small airport in Tillamook, Oregon at the Port of Tillamook Bay RV Park. Not much to it, $10/night for just dry camping in an open field, but it’s quiet and in a good location for exploring the area. Thanks to Suzanne for recommending it.



We didn’t make it to the Air Museum, although I’m sure it would have been interesting if it’s anything like the one we had in Pensacola. But the weather was just too nice for indoor activities.

On the day we arrived we picked up Jim’s new sunglasses that were awaiting at the post office and looked around Tillamook. This is dairy farm country, which gives the place a not so pleasant odor much of the time. Being non-dairy eaters we didn’t visit the famous Tillamook Cheese Factory, either, but we did stop in to look at the more upscale Blue Heron French Cheese Company, which also sells wine, beer and fancy foods and gifts.

From there we drove seven miles south of town to Munson Creek Falls, falling over 300 feet and one of the tallest waterfalls in the state.

It’s a short quarter mile trail, but a very pretty hike and impressive falls..




Yesterday we spent the afternoon along the Three Capes Scenic Loop, a lovely drive through several coastal communities and parks with plenty of places to stop and take a little hike.

Jim wasn’t so impressed with the Big Spruce.



But he did like the Cape Mears Lighthouse, Oregon’s shortest at 38’.




I always wonder if the lighthouse keepers appreciated the views like we do, but with only about 100 clear days per year I suspect they did.



We got excited when we read that there was a colony of Tufted Puffins on the rocks so we spent some time with binoculars looking for them. We later learned that eagles ran them off, but they could now be found at Pacific City, the southernmost town on the scenic loop. The hunt for puffins continues. We did spot Common Murres on the rock ledges.


Nearby is a trail to the Octopus Tree, another huge 250+ year old Sitka spruce with multiple trunks.


Next stop, the beach at Oceanside.



Cape Lookout, where we hiked a trail to, you guessed it, a lookout. A couple women coming back up the trail said they saw whales in the water, so we had something new to look for.



We had no luck spotting whales, but did see this dead tree that looked like an open can of Pillsbury biscuits.


And a shiny colorful mushroom/


Last stop, Cape Kiwanda, at Pacific City, where we drove on the sand for a short distance before we were afraid we might get stuck. I’m not a big fan of allowing vehicles on the beach, but when in Rome, you know.



Haystack Rock, with me still looking for puffins and whales.


No sighting of either but it was a good day, anyway.


We did see this cute little puppy that looked like a cross between Rupert and Elliot, Debbie’s two dogs. And yes, that is a dead watermelon on the beach.



  1. Jack and I spent a whole day on the beach in Pacific City and several weeks in the Tillamook area. Nearby is Hebo where my husband was stationed. The day in Pacific City we watched the dory boats come sliding onto the sand as the blew their horns. So want to go back. Have they fixed the windows in the lighthouse (Cape Mears) yet? Some vandals had shot them out--they were irreplaceable and such a shame to see. Thanks for sharing your pictures and bringing up fond memories from long ago and not so long ago. :)

  2. You won't get stuck, you drive a Subaru :))
    Box Canyon Mark

  3. I think I would have been impressed with the spruce. I like big trees.

  4. What's not to like about a tree that is 15.5 feet in diameter. Love both it and the octopus tree. But then I love all BIG trees. Love lighthouses too and your pictures out the windows were terrific. You are in an area that is definitely on my radar. Love that water and puffins, well I'm crossing my fingers for you.

  5. We enjoyed Tillamook and saw the octopus tree when we were there in 2008. Glad you are having such a good time in Oregon.

  6. Love the Haystack Rock photo! Wishing you puffins, whales, and more cute beach puppies.

  7. Even if you did eat dairy, skipping the Tillamook Cheese was a good idea. It is a mob scene and way too commercial. Our first visit was about 12 years ago before it went so commercial. The place was empty and the samples very plentiful. I was so disappointed two years ago to see it now.

    Love that octopus tree! Hope you find the puffins:)

  8. Any time spent hunting puffins and whales has to be good time! I love the short, round lighthouse (it's like we're kin), and the spruce are pretty impressive. Looks like the watermelon "hatched" and out popped the puppy - I'll have to look for those at the farmers' market :-). My dad always had a block of Tillamook cheese in the frig so I will have to brave the crowds when we get there just for him.

  9. Gosh, you had some beautiful weather. I've been to all these places, but your pictures are better.

  10. The Tillamook area is on our wish list. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures. Not sure when we will make it there. We are in Southern Utah for the summer, New Mex. for the fall and AZ for the winter and hoping to make it to the east coast next year. Too many wonderful places to see.