Newport, OR to Gresham, OR (outside of Portland)
(with stops in: Tillamook, Cannon Beach, and at Ecola State Park)
Miles driven today: 215
Total miles driven: 1225
# of times I got lost today: 1
Things I learned today:
-It takes five quarts of whole milk to make 1 pound of cheese
-It takes ten quarts of whole milk to make 1 pound of butter
-India is not the only place you find cows on the road
So, I was playing things by ear, and decided on the plans for my drive today at the last minute. I was trying to choose between two options--go on a whale watching trip on the boat that Mesha works on, then take a straight shot to Portland -OR- leave early in the morning and drive up the coast, visiting a couple of places I wanted to see, then cutting over on a highway further up. Although the boat trip would have been fun, I decided on option two because I get to go on boat trips pretty frequently at home, while I don't get to visit the Oregon Coast very often. Plus, I really really wanted to see Ecola State Park...
The drive up was gorgeous..stretches of untouched beaches, cute small towns, expansive farmlands, tree-lined roads, green hills...Nothing much but beautiful scenery from Newport to Tillamook, except for when I came upon a cow on the road. He was trotting along, smack in the middle of the road, and I found myself having a flashback of being in India. It was quite amusing. Since he was in my way, I couldn't do anything but follow him for a while, then he finally moved over a bit and I was able to sneak past him. Interesting. Wonder who's cow it was, and if the farmer ever found him...
In Tillamook, I stopped at two places: the Blue Heron French Cheese Company (which had a cute petting zoo out front, and a cheese and souvenir store inside), and at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Walked through their self-guided tour (the factory itself is only in production Monday-Friday, so I didn't get to watch the production line), sampled some cheese (love the sharp cheddar), ate breakfast at their cafe, bought some cheese curds, then went on my way.
Next stop was Cannon Beach, where Haystack Rock looms right off the beach (it is the third largest sea stack in the world.) It was a pretty impressive rock. I walked the beach and took some pictures, then headed out for my next stop.
Ah, Ecola State Park. The HIGHLIGHT of my day. I am so very glad I made the decision to check the park out--the 4 hour drive up the coast and $3.00 park entrance fee was worth the visit. Now, I must confess my reason for wanting to visit in the first place. Since you all know that I'm an obsessed Twilight fan, I'm sure it wouldn't surprise you to hear that it was because they filmed part of the movie here. It wasn't just any scene though, it was the First Beach scene, and I just had to see it. Indian Beach was the sight they used as "First Beach" for the movie, and since I'll be visiting the real First Beach, I wanted to compare the two. The drive into the park from the highway was amazing, but it didn't compare to the drive from the ranger station to the Indian Beach parking lot. I can't even describe how heartbreakingly and breathtakingly beautiful it was--the tiny road snaked its way through the forest, surrounded and shaded by beautiful moss-covered trees. Pictures don't do it justice, you just have to be there, to experience it for yourself. Indian Beach was cute. I walked down the beach, and since it was low tide, checked out the rocky intertidal area at the end of the beach. Saw crabs and snails and sea start, but I didn't poke around too much. I then found a log to rest on, and relaxed for a while, just taking in the scenery (and imagining Bella & Jacob hanging out on the beach, haha.) Ate some bread and squeaky cheese, wrote in my journal, and just enjoyed being there on my log.
Come on, just picture them sitting on that log, chatting and bickering.