Coast Roadtrip: Oregon

The view north from Cape Lookout State Park, near Tillamook, Oregon
The view north from Cape Lookout State Park, near Tillamook, Oregon. This was the first moment we spotted the Pacific Ocean on our trip. We plan to hug the sea and go north until we run out of time.
#PDXcarpet
#PDXcarpet

My college friend M flew out last night and I picked him up at PDX airport. Was very excited for a chance to get what will certainly be one of my last chances to take a selfie of my feet onΒ the Portland Airport Carpet. The famous teal carpet is being torn up amidst the gnashing of teeth. Beloved by Portlanders, this carpet has a line of merchandise, a facebook page, and a twitter feed. And it’s going to be the Grand Marshall at our upcoming Starlight Parade. Yes, we are a bit wonky in Portland.

This morning we took off on our coast road trip. I have challenged myself to post each night, because I promise I will not post 7 days’ worth of photos in a timely manner once I get home and go back to my busy life. It has to be done now or not at all. Wish me luck.

Thus, I am going to go heavy on the photos w/captions, and light on the talk. Please enjoy.

Driving past this marshy area, I was drawn to these flowers. Aren't they interesting from a distance? I knew it would be worth the trouble to get a close up, so we pulled over.
Driving past this marshy area, I was drawn to these flowers. Aren’t they interesting from a distance? I knew it would be worth the trouble to get a close up, so we pulled over.
What a fabulous flower.
What a fabulous flower.

We left the house and came through the center of Portland so I could show a little of the city to M on our way West. We explored the outdoor amphitheater in the center of the volcanic cone of Mt. Tabor, then we spotted clusters of food carts, went down Hawthorne Street, and crossed the Willamette River. Purely by coincidence, we ended up downtown next to a classic Portland must-see spot, on my way to Chinatown. So we pulled over and waited in line 25 minutes to get into Voodoo Doughnut. Check out the link: craziest doughnuts you’ve ever seen. As M said, “Take that Dunkin Donuts!”

Portland is such a lovely small city that in minutes we were out of town and heading toward the coast. The sky kept things interesting all day: alternating drizzle to rain to mist and then one actual downpour with hail. We did get some breaks of sun that sometimes corresponded with our stops.

We toured the Tillamook Cheese Factory, and ate some of their fabulous ice cream. That was just too much sugar for one day, but neither of us is entirely sorry. We toured the cheese making operations, and purchased giant slabs of extra sharp white cheddar. We ended the day in Astoria, and now I need to rest up for tomorrow. (spoiler: Goonies!)

Tillamook Cheese Factory
Tillamook Cheese Factory
The factory floor.
The factory floor.
A view along the coast.
A view along the coast.
I am in love with the sharp dramatic cliffs of the Pacific Northwest coast. Reminds me of the scenes in Japanese traditional art.
I am in love with the sharp dramatic cliffs of the Pacific Northwest coast.
See how the highway cuts a slice right through the rock?
See how the highway cuts a slice right through the rock?
Enormous slabs of cheese! They must be 20-lb blocks or so.
Enormous slabs of cheese! They must be 20-lb blocks or so.
I may know how that raccoon sticker got on that sign.
I may know how that raccoon sticker got on that sign.
My friend M is as addicted to photo as myself, thank goodness.
My friend M is as addicted to photo as myself, thank goodness.
Another vista point. They are all stunning. How grateful I am for the bursts of sun right when I need them.
Another vista point. This one of Haystack Rock. They are all stunning. How grateful I am for the bursts of sun right when I need them.
The Astoria Column is remarkable and I must look up the story of this structure. In the meantime, this is what it looks like.
The Astoria Column is remarkable and I must look up the story of this structure. In the meantime, this is what it looks like.
And this is the view from the top. That's the Astoria Megler Bridge connecting Oregon to Washington, across the mouth of the Columbia River.
And this is the view from the top. That’s the Astoria Megler Bridge connecting Oregon to Washington, across the mouth of the Columbia River.
Here's the view of M from the column.
Here’s the view of M from the column.
We chose seafood for supper and then had to run out of the restaurant before the food came because sunset was happening. You get that, right? It was impossible for photo addicts to let this one go.
We chose seafood for supper and then had to run out of the restaurant before the food came because sunset was happening. You get that, right? It was impossible for photo addicts to let this one go.
Seagull on an old boiler from the seaside fish processing days.
Seagull on an old boiler from the seaside fish processing days.
What a beautiful boiler.
What a beautiful boiler.
I caught this one and then it was time to head back in for halibut.
I caught this one and then it was time to head back in for halibut.

26 thoughts on “Coast Roadtrip: Oregon

    1. I am delighted by at least three things, Derrick! 1) You identified the lily for me! Thank you! 2) When I was growing up in Idaho, we also called them Skunk Cabbage, and I think it’s wonderful that we use the same colloquial name that you do in England (I can’t believe I don’t recall seeing them flower) and 3) These are related to the Calla Lilies I used to have in my garden and loved so much.

      Thanks for the good luck wishes, too. I can use all the help I can get.

    1. Carl, I am so pleased that you like my blog. Thank you for following. My friend Derrick has identified them as Bog Arum Lilies (see his link above). Your pleasure in the flowers has validated my own interest. I just could not stop looking at them as we drove past the long marshy areas.

      1. Thank you so much for this identification through Derrick! Thank you Derrick! πŸ™‚
        Many years ago, I spent 2 summers in South-East Alaska and these skunk cabbage plants get HUGE. They were past my waist. I am imagining the flowers bloom in the early spring, as they were not blooming in Alaska. Could very well be the same plant. In Alaska, bears are very attracted to this plant. You can tell they have been around, when they have been digging the roots. πŸ™‚

    1. Yes! Thanks for noticing! The cheese blocks were impressive. I am a big fan of cheese and a particular fan of Tillamook. After I lived in Vermont and learned what real cheese tastes like, I moved back to the west and couldn’t bear all the usual cheeses again. Now Tillamook is the only brand I eat, even though I have to pay for the quality of it.

  1. That is a trip I would love to take one day. It was fun to go along with you virtually. You’ve captured some wonderful photos. I love that unusual flower and the bridge looks almost like it’s going down into the water. It’s been such a wet couple days that I hope you can get more good photos. I’ve not been to the cheese factory but that looks interesting. Looking forward to more. Stay dry.

    1. How lucky that I added that sunset shot to the bunch, Cuz! There were powerlines right through it, so I had to really crop the view. And we were right next to the forest, so I stood on the doorjamb of the Jeep to get high enough to look over the trees. Thanks for coming along. πŸ™‚

  2. Isn’t that ice-cream sinful? I had their four flavor sampler, or was it five? Got in trouble with my son-in-law in October for not checking out the Goonies.:) All in all, you can’t go wrong making your way up, or down, the Oregon Coast. Great photos and looking forward to more. Will be in Portland this week for the WordPress conference. –Curt

    1. Sinful is *the* word. I had the Oregon Hazelnut with salted caramel. I would have been in the hospital if I had tried a five-flavour sampler!

      Have a great time at the WP conference. I am disappointed that you and I can’t share the city at the same time. Ah well… we will meet at some point.

  3. Skunk cabbage! I’d recognize that stinky flower anywhere. (Aka Lysichiton americanus. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysichiton_americanus)

    The street I grew up on was covered in skunk cabbage, so every year when they bloomed it was as if a convention of skunks had blown into town and sprayed everything. Which actually happened on another street I lived on — there was an empty lot that housed a LOT of skunks, including one that would *follow you home* and spray everything you owned. Our entire house stank for WEEKS when it attacked us. Got mom, the dog, the car, the entire outside of the house, the yard….

    Love the pictures of your trip. Can’t wait to see you when you arrive up here! πŸ˜€

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