Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Driving the Three Capes Scenic Loop Oct 3

October 3..... We woke up this morning and the sun was shining, albeit with plenty of clouds in the area. My legs felt tired, and generally like someone beat them with a baseball bat. A perfect day to take Pam and drive, and see what is supposedly one of the most scenic drives in the Oregon coast. We headed back to the north, and turned off of 101 towards the town of Pacific City. We hadn't eaten breakfast, so as we pulled into town, we saw a restaurant and brew pub right on the beach, with a huge sea stack out in the water, and beautiful multicolored sandstone cliffs off to the side, with surfers in full cold water gear, and paddle boarders doing their thing below the cliffs. We had lunch, walked on the beach for a short  while, and enjoyed the sun and the first of three capes, Cape Kiwanda. We didn't know what was ahead, so we headed out to find the second cape. After a drive up a real steep hill that made me happy I didn't ride this loop. The grade was at least 12% in places! and my legs burned just looking at it. There wasn't a shoulder, and the road was rough, but the Oregon Coast Bike Trail recommended this road. It was much better in a Jeep! As we approached the second cape, Cape Lookout, all it was, was three very steep trails leading to secluded beaches, which would have been fine if we had 2-4 hrs to hike them. We went down the other side of the steep hill and came to a day use area, which was nice, but nothing special, with some picnic sights, a creek emptying into the ocean, and some small sea stacks. We spent very little time there, and headed out to find Cape Meares. We came to a small town called Oceanside, which describes where it was, and headed up another hill to find the Cape Meares Lighthouse. It is only 38feet tall, but it was positioned out on a cliff, where it could be seen for 21 nautical miles when lit. It was a beautiful scene, with the cliffs, the sea stacks down below, and the calm Pacific Ocean swelling in rhythm as far as the eye could see. The lighthouse had been vandalized, with bullet holes in the lenses that weren't stolen since the house was decommissioned in 1963. The cool thing was that we were allowed up in the lighthouse, there were volunteers to answer questions, and there was a little gift shop. We also saw the Octopus Tree, a Sitka Spruce tree that had no central trunk, just big branches. See picture. After touring the lighthouse and walking some paved trails, we completed the loop back to Tillamook, where we stopped at the cheese factory that Pam toured yesterday while I was riding. I got a quick tour and a nice cream cone, and we headed for home on 101 south, where I rode yesterday in the rain. I remembered, but the memories weren't pleasant. We got home at about supper time, so we checked out the Chinook Wind Casino buffet, with prime rib, and lots of fixins, for cheap. Pam lost five bucks on the slots, and we called it an early night.

We pulled over here to catch a bite to eat.

The surfers are further out to sea.

The beach, the ocean and the mountains!

Surfer coming in

Surfers are way out by the big rock!

Having fun on the beach

View from above!  The Oregon coastline is beautiful!

Cute little squirrel gathering seeds for the winter

One of the many places where a creek flows into the ocean

Three arch rocks

Steller's Jay

There are some very steep cliffs here!

Looking down at a cave...

And up at the waterfall....

And out at it all!

Cape Meares Lighthouse

It's not very tall, but it is high on a cliff

It used to flash white light then red - this is the red lens

View from the lighthouse

Bullet holes from 2010 vandalism.  They did catch the young men who damaged the lighthouse and they served jail time, community service and restitution.  What a senseless act!

Lighthouse is decommissioned - there is an automated light about 50 feet away from it.

Octopus tree - it has no trunk, the branches come out of the base.  They believe it is 200-250 years old.  And they have no idea why it grew this way!

As we were leaving the park, there was a porcupine sitting in the grass!

Looking down from the observation balcony - those big blocks are 40 pound blocks of cheddar cheese that get cut into 2 pound blocks, wrapped and sealed along the assembly line.  At the end of this entry is a video following the travels of the cheese from entering as a 40 pound block until it leaves the line.

Sometimes Mike gets a little silly.....

what can I say.....

about my Baby Loaf!!!

On our way home we were following a very large tractor.

Tonight's sunset was much better!

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