Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Oregon–Tillamook and Cape Meares

The next day we decided to head a little further North using the slightly inland Highway 101 to Tillamook and then across to Cape Meares and back down alongside the coastline.

The previous days running around on the beach had worn poor Annabel out so she had a powernap enroute.


Tillamook is very well known in these parts for their cheese.  There are a couple of cheese factories in the town but the Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA) is far and away the largest.  Established in 1909 the TCCA was established as a co-operative of ten local dairy farmers who worked together to create products of the local farms.  Now the association has over 100 local farms participating and their creamery products can be found throughout North America.

They offer free tours of the factory together with free tasting rooms and of course the opportunity to buy any of their products.


The inside of the factory is a well automated production line


I guess you really have to like cheese to work here.


After getting our fill of the assorted cheesy samples, we bought a few of our favourites and then visited the creamery ice cream before heading towards Cape Meares.

Views here across Tillamook Bay on the way to Cape Meares.


We reach Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint.


The main attraction of the viewpoint is the lighthouse.  Built in 1894 it originally ran on oil before being transitioned over to electric when it finally reached the coast – in 1934.



There are great views along the coastline from the park.


From here we can see the Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge which is home to Oregons largest colony of breeding puffins.


Here we have views of the North end of Oceanside beach


More views along the rugged coastline.


The islands off the coast are also home to huge numbers of Common Murres – you can see lots of them in the water just this side of the island.


After our visit to Cape Meares we continued along the scenic oceanside highway back through Cape Lookout where we stopped for a picnic and then onto Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City, completing the Three Capes Scenic Drive.

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