"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Waterfalls, Cheese & A Lighthouse

Cloverdale, Oregon
Webb County Park

As we round up our week at Webb County Park, we are headed to Tillamook today to go to, where else, The Tillamook Cheese Factory.  It's been years since we've been here and it's been completely remodeled.  I've heard it's now a self guided tour.  First we'll stop to do a short hike to Munson Creek Falls.
It's quite humid and lush on the trail.  Right off I notice a small Banana Slug.  Growing up in California near the Redwoods we are very familiar with them.  The Pacific Banana Slug, the second largest, can grow as long as 9 inches. The largest, European, can get up to one foot long. They are not poisonous but can have a slightly numbing effect.  Numbing?  Yes, some people will dare others to lick them.  While eaten in some cultures, they are not known for their flavor.  They are also the mascot of the University of Santa Cruz.
It turned out to be a short hike as the trail abruptly ends.  Not sure why it ends there but there is a sign not to go beyond the fence.  At least we get a picture and head back.
The abundance of moss and ivy are everywhere.  There is also a small creek running alongside the trail.

As we drive along 101 we pass the Tillamook Air Museum.  We didn't have time to visit it but here is some info if you're interested.  It is open M-Sun 10-5, $10 admission or $9/Senior 65+, $8 Active or Retired Military.  What I found interesting is that they have a nearby RV Park.  It is only 2 miles off 101 and is $15 a night, dry camping.  30x50 graveled pads.  There are a couple water spigots but no dump or other facilities.  There is a 2 week maximum stay allowed.  So if you are passing through and can't find a spot, this just may work for you.
As we pulled up to Tillamook Cheese Factory, we could see right off how different it was.  There is plenty of parking, even for RVs, but everyone seemed to want to circle around to find the closest when there were plenty if you walked just a little.
There is no admission charged but it is now a self guided tour.  It was set up pretty nice with large windows to watch and signs to read as you went along the process.

There was a cute display for the little ones.  This little girl was "feeding" one of the calves in this display.
Let me tell you this place is popular!  Lines for everything!  Here is the line to get to the cheese sampling (also free).  It snaked around and you could read little info/facts along the walls.
Looking down on the first floor you can see the Gift Shop where you could purchase your favorite cheeses and other related goods.

There were about six cheeses to sample. Yummy!  We also went outside and stood in another very long line.  This time for ice cream.  Steve's favorite is the Huckleberry but this time he chose the small batch Canadian Maple Whiskey.  He gave it a 2 Thumbs Up.  I wasn't going to get any, but chose a Mocha Almond Fudge which was also very good.  I didn't get any pictures of the counters, but go to the outside counter it is faster.  There are also many tables, grass and it's doggy friendly.
On the way back we spotted the Pelican Brewing Company.  Since we didn't go to the one near Webb County Park, we stopped in here for some late lunch.

Along this area of 101 there are several pull-outs with outstanding views.

Long, long way down.
Then we stopped at a favorite of mine.  The very cute town of Wheeler. No we are not related but always fun to stop here.  Since it's on the coast so do a lot of other people.  I get pictures of the town signs from friends and family from time to time.
I nominate myself as Honorary Mayor of Wheeler.

It does have an interesting history.

Back deck off the Marina.  A popular place to get a drink and watch the time roll in and out.
We went into the Marina for a drink since I own the place.  Not, but still fun to do.
And since my Dad worked for the Post Office his whole life, I always like to take pictures of quirky Post Office buildings around the country.  This one was triangular shaped. 
The sun was going down quickly so we stopped at a couple of beaches for geocaches, pictures and so that Hurley could stretch his legs.

There he goes!

So many pretty spots to take pictures.

The last thing on our list for the day was to visit Cape Meares Lighthouse.
The lighthouse is from the 1890s. There is a mile-long walking trail that winds through old-growth spruce trees, including a uniquely-shaped "Octopus Tree" where there was a geocache. A short walk and you'll see  the largest Sitka spruce tree in the state of Oregon. The gift shop closes at 4, but the grounds are open until dusk.
The lighthouse is only 38 feet tall making it Oregon's shortest, but sits up on a 217ft bluff.
It was practically dark and we made it just before the park closed its gates.  It is a long drive to get to the park itself.
I thought the lens was very pretty.  It is a First Order Fresnel Lens made in Paris, France.  It produced 30 seconds of fixed white light from the primary lens followed by a red flash of five seconds and the bull's-eye lens once every minute.

We watched another beautiful sunset and then enjoyed Saturn next to the crescent moon.
Good Night.  It's been a great week.  We will be heading up to the far NW corner of Oregon next.


  1. What a beautiful area! Cheese, ice cream AND beer, what’s not to like!

    1. It was a fun visit. DO we have a mutual friend in Placerville that now lives in AZ? Thanks for stopping by.

  2. So. Many. People! That snaking line looks like something you would see at a theme park. I first learned about banana slugs in elementary school in San Jose. Our 6th grade science camp was in the Santa Cruz mountains and the slugs were plentiful. Hurley sure like his freedom :-) Great sunset photos too.

    1. Waaaay to many people for me. As nice as it was I was glad to get out of there. Banana slugs! Something you grow up with when you're been to the CA redwoods!


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