Saturday, November 13, 2010

Oregon Coast continued….

We explored Cannon Beach on Sunday, a quaint little town that’s a mix of Carmel and Mendocino; wonderful art and crafts shops, a veritable menu of eateries with friendly, interested and chatty people.

And, the beach…well what can we say about it – it goes on forever. The real attraction however is the Haystack which is a large island like rock about a mile off-shore; which nostalgically reminded us of Scelig Micheal off the Kerry Coast. The day was beautiful, if chilly, and we walked the beach before lunch and again afterwards.

Monday morning Adele played her on-line Bridge and afterwards we loaded BlueBug onto the tow dolly and took the short 50 mile trip to Tillamook. That afternoon we went sightseeing, we started by hiking to Munson Creek Falls – quite spectacular waterfall at 319 feet hidden away in a rain forest; then we traversed the Three Capes Loop to Cape Meares Lighthouse. What fascinated us however was not the lighthouse but rather Three Arches – a formation of offshore rocks with, yes! Three Arches! Not unlike Natural Bridges near Santa Cruz.

Tuesday we visited Tillamook Creamery and took the self-guided tour of their cheese making facility – well worth a stop. We had a really great lunch of Clam Chowder and a Bacon Cheeseburger in their cafeteria and purchased a couple of pounds of their Extra Sharp Cheddar; as it’s the closest we can find to Irish Cheddar or a Leicestershire Red. From there we paid a quick visit to the Blue Heron Cheese shop where we picked up lovely Brie.

Wednesday we traveled, again a short way to Lincoln City where we had arranged to meet Adele’s friend Becky. And, what a treat that turned out to be! Becky called and suggested we meet her at Otis Café in Otis.

I missed the turn as the co-pilot/navigator was busy speaking with Stella (of Tony & Stella fame) discussing Christmas arrangements. The consequence of this was that I had to drive through a Safeway parking lot to turn back.

To get to Otis take Hwy 18 off Hwy 101 towards Salem, it’s about 3 miles east of 101.

Our individual brunches were freshly prepared and cooked from all local ingredients; we agreed that this was the best brunch we’ve had. For anyone touring Oregon or en route on 101 North or South this is an absolute MUST STOP Café experience.

We parked the RV outside Becky’s and stayed the night in her home. The following morning (Thursday) we took Becky’s collie Grantley for a walk on the beach, still don’t know who enjoyed it better, Adele, Grantley or me.

Then we got on the road again a little further down the coast to Newport where we self-checked into Beverley Beach State Park. Very quickly we un-hooked BlueBug from the dolly and (as it was raining) visited the Newport Aquarium; we arrived a little too late to fully enjoy the many exhibits there, those we did see were interesting and informative.

Friday started bright and sunny, so off we went for a long walk on the beach after which Adele spent 30 minutes doing Yoga while I sat, meditated and solved the ills of the world as I watched a boiling see rush to shore.

For lunch we decided to take another of Becky’s suggestions and took the short journey to La Maison in Newport. La Maison is Bakery/Café tucked away on 315 SW 9th Street, Newport, OR 97365.

Adele ordered a Turkey Croissant sandwich (Turkey, cranberries, hazelnuts, tomato and lettuce) she pronounced it “melt in your mouth” and “the best sandwich” she’s ever had; I ordered what was billed as a Mediterranean sandwich (ham, salami, pepperoni, prosciutto, mozzarella and tomato) on a Ciabatta bread – without a doubt the very best sandwich I have ever eaten! And, before I forget…the sandwich orders included a bowl of Clam Chowder. As value for money this takes the prize!

If you are in Newport or passing through do yourself a large favor and stop at La Maison for breakfast or lunch – its open from 9 to 3 everyday, this is a very busy and popular venue so call ahead (541) 265-8812.

As the day was still fine we walked the beach once more. Then as the forecast for Saturday was rain, we loaded BlueBug onto the dolly.    

Saturday did in fact start rainy yet by the time we had finished breakfast and the pre-drive checklist it was fine enough for another walk on the beach.

Our journey was another relatively short one – Newport to Florence, and, again on the edge of the pacific with just amazing scenery all the way. A disappointment was that the Sea Lions were not in residence at the Sea Lion Caves just north of Florence – it does, however, give us a reason to return in sunnier times.            

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