Right, so last time we met, our heroe’s had just driven off into the sunset south towards new adventures. The first of which was a visit to the Astoria column. Marc had looked it up and it seemed interesting so off we went. It is the highest point in Astoria and is decorated with paintings on the outside showing different significant events in the history of the area, This is what we found when we got there
Gotta love city workers. Marc asked why they were still collecting a parking fee when there was nothing to see. We were told our contribution actually made us park members for a whole year and we could come back any time with our receipt for free entrance into the park. *Laughs* Really guys? Still, it was a nice enough spot. You could see for miles and miles and it was a beautiful day. We moved on though as we still had miles to go.
This is the wreck of the Peter Iredale. It sits inside part of the Lewis and Clark National and State Historic parks network. It ran aground in 1906 on Clatsopt Spit due to a mix of foul conditions. Fog, a rising tide and a harsh squall combined to push the ship up onto the sands. They were going to try to tow it back out to sea, but good conditions didn’t combine in a timely enough manner and the ship was sold for scrap. The Captain’s final toast to his ship,
” May God bless you, and may your bones bleach in the sands.” I wouldn’t say they’re bleaching, more like rusting away, with less and less remaining every year according to one local we talked to. The kids love it though. Neat jungle gym, eh?
Things took a bit of a bizarre turn as we continued down the coast. Our next stop was Cannon Beach to visit Haystack rock. See that lovely sunshine up above? We drove through beautiful forests with the sun shining down through the trees and glimpses of beach off to the left as we got closer and closer. Then, we turned a corner and dropped into something else altogether different.
Fog, or a foggish mist that dimmed the sun and put a haze on everything in front of us. Haystack rock looked pretty cool. It’s 275 feet high ( 72 meters for my NZ friends) and it really does dominate the landscape. At low tide you can walk over to it although we didn’t get that lucky though. There are two large needles off to the left, but I didn’t get any really great shots of them. People were hanging out, walking the shoreline and a few kids playing at the water’s edge. Not really a beach day as I think of it, but then it is a lot cooler than in the summertime.
We holed up at a rather nice little place in Rockaway Beach that night called the Seaview Motel. It was a one-off place than nonetheless did not skimp on the fresh towels, or cleanliness. The town is known for steam engine rides and beaches that are great for building bonfires on. There was also a neat little geologic feature off shore:
We got a somewhat early start the next dayand continued south. I had been seeing signs for the Tillamook jerky outlet and since I know Marc absolutely loves jerky, we had to stop in. The outlet store is right next to their production building and man did they have all kinds of jerky. Heck, they had jerky I’d never even thought of, like turkey nuggets. Suffice to say, we bought our fair share.
Next stop was the shortest lighthouse on the Oregon coast and a nice chance to stretch our legs for a short jaunt to the point. Cape Mears is not active anymore, and was switched off in 2014. Now it functions as a small park for the public and a learning and appreciation center for lighthouses. We actually got to go inside this one for free and the guides gave a nice little tour.
There is also a really amazing Sitka Spruce pine tree a short hike away from the lighthouse. Called the Octopus Tree, no one knows why it formed like it did as they don’t usually grow like this. Some think that some native Americans trained the tree to grow like this, but it’s really all conjecture. Pretty cool though, eh?
We were on our way to a famous cave where all the sea lions like to gather when I spotted a whole bunch of them taking a nap on a sandbar. We stopped and grabbed the binoculars for a little wild animal gazing and probably ended up saving ourselves as little coin as this was free. LOL.
We did one more quick stop for the day before quitting for the evening. I so wanted to do this tramp, but the stairs and steepness of the cliff was daunting so in the end, it was deemed easier to just take a couple of snaps. This is called Devil’s Churn.
We stayed at this weird little motel right off the highway. The big draw was ocean views but it was more like we looked out onto the bay really. Did get to see a beautiful sunset though so it was all good.
Gonna stop here for now so no one, including myself gets too overwhelmed. Hopefully, I can keep it to one more post to finish up. Thanks for following along and see you next time on Chasing Summer!