A jaunt up the coast.
Manzanita Travel Blog› entry 3 of 10 › view all entries
Today we went for a jaunt up the coast for the day to find some more interesting places. We started off by going in to Tillamook and checking out the Tillamook Cheese factory. My girlfriend and I are fans of their cheese so we thought it would be only natural to take the tour. We got out of our campsite early so we could stay warm because there was a morning fog settled in pretty heavy. We made a beeline to the Cheese factory so we could get there to avoid the crowds. When we go there it had just about opened for the morning and we were one of the few people in there. The tour is free so you can imagine how crowded it can get. We tasted some samples of cheese at the sample counter and decided that we liked the x-tra sharp cheese, that retails for twice the price of the medium cheddar, the best, but we had to keep trying it to make sure we were right.
From Tillamook we took a drive up the coast to see what we could see. Throught the towns of Bay City (Pretty Small) on Tillamook Bay, Then it was Garibaldi where there was a summer festival going on. (Garibaldi is on the bay and is more of a tourist town without beach access- Shopping) Then on up to the touristy strip if Roackaway Beach. The beach itself is not too bad looking but it is really close to the highway and the tourist strip. Then it was on up to Nehalem which sits inside Nehalem Bay. A cute little town with a hardware store. I also saw a place that rented nice looking sea kayaks in which you could explore the bay and Nehalem River estuary in town.
Further up the road is Oswald West State Park. Oswald West skirts along the edge of Neahkahnie Mountain with great views to the ocean and then the road cuts inland into the hills. There are a couple of parking lots but they looked packed when we went through so we didn't stop. We ended up going up the hill a ways and then taking a narrow side road which headed down to Cove Beach which is just outside the park. We went down to the beach and it was a nice little secluded beach that was covered with banks of nice round rocks. The fog and mist from the seashore gave the beach a mystic feel.
We retraced our way back down the coast now in search of a nice lunch and found a fairly descent one in Garibaldi. The town was in the middle of its summer festival so it was a bit tough to find a parking spot but we eventually found one.
From there we headed back toward Tillamook and checked out the Cape Mears Lookout. When we got there there was a wedding going on which made parking almost impossible. After doing a couple of laps around the parking lot we eventually found somone pulling out. There was a bit of fog today so the view was not the best off of Cape Mears. The wedding party was hanging out at the lookout point so we pushed our way to the front and peered into the foggy cauldron below. The lighthouse is a short ways down a trail. There was not much of a crowd there so we took a little tour of the lighthouse, heading up into the light itself. The light lens and the stairs going up into the tower were the high point of it all.
From Cape Mears we headed back to our foggy campsite at Cape Lookout State park for a cozy evening before the campfire.