Staying here in the Columbia River Gorge has been a treat. We’ve seen the local sights and made the trip to Mt. Hood and experienced mountain snow.
After a day’s rest from the long car journey to Mt. Hood, today we took to the road again and drove two plus hours over to Highway 101 to see the beautiful Oregon Coast.
We made the turn onto 101 as planned at Tillamook and within a few miles our first planned stop was in sight. For those who see my Facebook posts you already know that we went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. What a fun place! They have a whole dairy farm exhibit (no live cows, but real cow sounds). Believing that we know enough about cows (displays start at inception and go through adulthood) we jumped ahead to the sample cheese section. That’s right… free cheese! We tried the cheese curds first (also a first for both of us) and they were good. Those curds are also only available at the factory. Then I tried some “squeaky” cheese. Seriously, it sort of squeaks when you chew it. Of course there’s a retail section so you can purchase packages of cheese and meats, but the real bonus for customers is the ice cream counter – or maybe the real bonus is that they also have a grill, so you may want to have a grilled cheese sammy before your frozen dairy product in a chocolate waffle cone! It’s hard to believe, I know, but after sampling the cheese we got out of there before we overindulged!
Once back in the Jeep we continued toward our ultimate destination of Cannon Beach. We followed that curving road for another hour with occasional glimpses of the coast and then finally we saw Haystack Rock. We had arrived.
After a lunch of fish and chips, we found the beach access, bundled up (I put on my flip flops), and we went out for pics of the big rock on the beach. Our visit was short but rewarding, and we felt ready to begin the journey back to Cascade Locks.
So as not to backtrack, this time we traveled on Highway 26, which was very scenic. After a bit we stopped for a bio break at a rest stop where we were pleasantly surprised to find a little foot bridge that stretched across a beautiful creek in a lush area. There were ferns, clover, moss covered trees, and an old bench along the trail when we got across the bridge. It was very pretty and a great spot for a few pictures before getting back on the road.
As Portland came into view we took the 405 to go around and not through the city but it didn’t help with traffic congestion. Glad that we weren’t driving the motor coach we muddled through and, after another brief stop, returned back in Cascade Locks in just under 12 hours.
I’m left with the feeling of satisfaction for checking off a long-time (years, really) bucket list item and even happier that I’m married to a man who indulges me to what seems like no end, though definitely not with frozen dairy in chocolate waffle cones or grilled cheese sammys!
My good friend, Tammy says that she loves our adventures and that makes me smile because that’s the goal of sharing them. So, this post closes out Oregon and April. On Sunday we will be packed up and headed for Seattle. Cannot wait to share that with you, as well.
Dorothy and Ken