Tillamook, Yachats, and the Oregon Coast

We said our goodbyes and left Sandy bound for the coast and a little town called Tillamook.  A cheese fan, I had my hopes on touring the plant and sampling the goods, but I’m not a fan of big crowds, so we ordered up ice cream (Huckleberry, of course) and moved on to the Tillamook Air Museum.

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The museum is small and really not worth the entrance fee, but we enjoyed seeing the old planes and WWII posters.  After touring the air museum, we continued on Highway 101 along the Oregon coast to Yachats and an overnight stay at the Fireside Motel.

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The Fireside is an older hotel with great rooms, plenty of amenities, and million-dollar views.  After sampling fresh fish at a local restaurant, the hub and I sat on the balcony and watched the sun set.  We retired to the room afterward to a toasty fire and the sounds of the crashing waves. Heaven!

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The Oregon Coast trail passes in front of the hotel.  I’m an early riser, so I set off on the trail passing huckleberries and blackberries until reaching an outlet to the beach. I spotted green sea anemone’s clustered in tide pools and got creeped-out by the clacking of the mussels and other shell-fish.  It’s an odd sound.

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I hurried back to the hotel with only 30 minutes to pack.  Next, we’re off to Medford for one last hug from the daughter and granddaughter before heading home tomorrow.  The hub decided he’d drive straight through since we have no interest in stopping in California’s heartland. I’ve seen enough agriculture to last a life time.

I’m sorry to see this trip end, Oregon is a beautiful state with plenty to do, but I look forward to planning my next excursion. Where to go next–any suggestions? Happy trails!




Cascade Locks, Oregon – The Columbia River and Old Scenic Highway

After big hugs and long goodbyes, we left Medford and headed up the state to Cascade Locks, Oregon and the beautiful Columbia River.  The drive went well until we reached Portland, which like any metropolitan city has bad traffic after 3:00 p.m.  It was worth it once we checked into the hotel and were gifted these views from our balcony.

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The following morning we were up and out of there by 9:00 a.m., ready to tour the Columbia River Old Scenic Highway (30) and view some magnificent waterfalls.  True to Oregon’s weather, it poured rain as we stopped for every senior-friendly accessible waterfall, including the infamous Multnomah Falls.

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After coming down from the bridge at Multnomah Falls, the hub and I moved on exploring the pull outs and points of interest along the highway.  The old bridges, reminiscent of the 20s art deco era, were covered in moss and dampness, but still holding up strong.

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It’s our last morning at Cascade Locks. Before packing, I took advantage of the somewhat drier weather and headed out for a hike. I had read that the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) passed through the Bridge of the Gods and was hoping to find it. One of the items on my “bucket list” is to hike at least a portion of the PCT.  I’d love to follow the trail from Campo to Canada one day, if my body holds out.

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I started out on the historic state trail towards Eagle Creek, passing morning joggers with bright orange tags on their shirts.  After 1.2 miles of walking the paved state trail, I came upon the PCT Gorge Trail, thanks to a detouring jogger.  With a big grin on my face, I headed up the dirt trail, giddy with excitement to have my feet on the PCT. I kept going up and did not want to return, but it was 10 a.m. and hotel check out was at 11:00, so I headed back, vowing to return.

We’re moving on to Sandy, Oregon to visit the hubs brother and family.  The two brothers haven’t seen in each other in 15 years, so our days in Sandy will be spent catching up with family.  After that, we’re off to the coast with a stop at Tillamook and a stay in Yachats, Oregon. Happy trails!

Medford, Oregon – Crater Lake and Umpqua Scenic Byway

We pulled into Medford and checked into the Homewood Suites for three days.  My youngest daughter, Jen, greeted us in the lobby and big hugs were given to all.  It was good to see Jenny, it’s been too long!  Jen is expecting her second child and we’re hoping he will arrive while we’re in town.

We decided on the Black Bear Diner for supper and planned our few precious days together while catching up.  Tomorrow’s adventure: Crater Lake and the Rogue River via the Umpqua Scenic Byway.

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We took the long way to Crater Lake, but  it was worth the drive. The lake is spectacular and so unbelievably blue it seems unreal.  With an expecting mama, a four-year old, and a COPD-stricken grandpa, we limited our walk to the rim, snapping photos and trying to stay ahead of the summer crowds.

There’s still snow on the ground and we plodded through it, trying not to slip, on our way to the gift shop.  There’s not a lot for us to do but admire the lake’s beauty and walk its rim, so we decided to get ice cream and browse the souvenirs before heading out for the Umpqua Scenic Highway (62).

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We auto toured Hwy 62, the Umpqua Rogue Scenic Byway, stopping at the areas that offered walking paths easy enough for our crew. The power of the Rogue is fierce and is evident through water carved natural bridges and ledges.

There’s no swimming here, true to its name, the water’s rough and wild, a rogue river indeed. The area is postcard perfect, the greenery and trees plentiful.  I see an RV trip in my future alongside the Rogue!

We’re spending quality time with family for the next few days, catching up and enjoying our short time with each other.  After that, it’s off to Cascade Locks, Oregon and the Columbia River Gorge. More adventures and pictures to come!