Monday, September 17, 2018

Down the Coast to Newport, Oregon

The highlight of the area is the Oregon Coast Aquarium, where I headed our first day in Newport. My favorite thing was all the rusty stuff with creatures in it!

Wow! This one even smiled for me!

There were lots of these beautiful Plumose Anemone, and lots of coral, starfish, etc.

Outside, the otters were having lunch, while floating on their backs.

And there were both Tufted Puffins (shown here) and Horned Puffins.

Then we wandered through the Passages of the Deep, where the fish were swimming above, below, and next to us.

And there was more rusty stuff!

We went out to the Yaquina Head Lighthouse, still operational today. We didn't get a tour, because you have to sign up for them in advance.

But we saw lots of whales blowing right in front of the lighthouse!

We did get to tour the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, which was only operational for a couple years. It was built in the wrong place, where ships coming from the north were unable to see the light.

The inside was very well done.

From the lighthouse, we were able to watch ships coming into the bay passing under their unique bridge.

It was a short, but great stop on our journey down the Oregon coast!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

There's More to Tillamook Besides Cheese!

Besides going back to the Tillamook Cheese Factory a couple more times for free samples, I took an excursion with our little group to go to Cape Kiwanda. We passed on climbing up the huge sand dune, but had a great time people-watching at the beach.

Between the dory boats landing, and cars getting stuck in the sand, it was very entertaining.

The dory boats land by zooming full speed onto the beach.

A short video of the very exciting landing! Run, guys, run!

Even the gulls enjoyed watching...

We also went to the Tillamook Air Museum, which was once a huge hanger housing Navy blimps in World War II.

It was interesting to see how it was built.

There were lots of exhibits inside. This is an airplane like the one John Denver crashed in. How sad...

We're slowly moving down the coast, and the temperatures have dropped to the 60s for a high. Quite a change!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Cheese, Cheese, and More Cheese!

After our Lewis and Clark trip ended in Astoria, a group of us started moving down the coast. Our first stop was Tillamook, home of the Tillamook Cheese Factory.

We were welcomed by Tilly.

They have totally redone the tour route, adding signs that explain what is happening at each stop.

After our self-guided tour, and free samples, we got the obligatory group photo. I got to drive!

And don't forget their store, with all kinds of cheese. But they were actually lower priced in the grocery store...

We also did a short hike to Munson Creek Falls. It's a little hard to get to, since the trail is closed about halfway there, but fortunately we're law breakers...

We also went to Cape Mears Lighthouse -

And got on a tour.

It's not operating anymore, but we got a great view from up there.

Three Arch Rocks, but we could only see 2 arches from here...

We then walked up to see the Octopus Tree, a Sitka Spruce close to 300 years old.

And then we went to see a Sitka Spruce that was 800 years old!

We went down the road a bit to Oceanside Beach, where there's a nice little natural tunnel -

And this walk through a concrete tunnel. Both were great!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Best Piece of Rusty Stuff Ever!!!

One day, while parked at Astoria, we went to see Fort Stevens, which guarded the mouth of the Columbia River from the Civil War through World War II.

The day we were there, they had lots of old military vehicles and enthusiasts dressed in authentic military uniforms.

It was fantastic!

Another view of the fort -

And one of the big guns.

I hope this guy doesn't see it...

We also went out to see one of the jetties that were built about 1890 to protect the ships entering the Columbia River.

But here's the highlight of the day - the hull of the Peter Iredale, the best piece of rusty stuff ever!!!

Shipwrecked in 1906, it was just amazing! I've been here before, and it does seem to be sinking a little into the sand. But still incredible!

We also went to see Youngs River Falls.

The trail to the falls went by this unique tree root system.

Sadly, we are at the end of our wonderful Lewis and Clark journey. On our last evening, we celebrated with a pot luck dinner, and I filmed a video of our final goodbye.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Seaside and Cape Disappointment

One day during our stay in Astoria, we went to the cute little town of Seaside, Oregon.

There is a statue at the beach of Lewis and Clark -

And don't forget their dog, Seaman. His nose is very much loved...

Lewis and Clark got to the Pacific Ocean here -

And so did we!

This is where the expedition had their "Salt Works," where they boiled ocean water to make salt to preserve their meat for the long journey back to St Louis.

After that, we walked the boardwalk, where we found this serious fixer-upper right on the beach.

They have a carousel here -

And you can rent some really cool floaties to go on the river.

The next day we went across the bridge to Washington to go to Cape Disappointment State Park. We got a view of the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, but didn't walk over to it. (Way down, then way up, and back...)

There is a fort here, dating back to the Civil War.

And a museum, which even contains some artifacts carried by a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition!

We then drove over to the North Head Lighthouse, also in the State Park.

We got a tour of this one, with a view of the North -

And the South.