Oregon – February, 2014

One of my best friends in the entire world moved to Portland, Oregon a couple of years ago and I have had a standing invitation to visit since then.  I finally decided to fly out for a few days and even though the weather wasn’t perfect it was most assuredly a memorable trip for me.  I saw some absolutely magnificent scenery and spent some time with someone very special to me.  What more could one ask for?

February 22, 2014

Within minutes of my arrival in Portland we were headed for Multnomnah Falls for lunch.  The falls drop 620 feet into the Columbia River Gorge.  There is a restaurant at the bottom where we had lunch before heading up the road just a bit to see Wahkeena Falls.

There is some excellent information about a travel through the Pacific Northwest, and many other places, on Colleen Kinsey’s Travel Makes Happy blog.

That pretty much did me in for Saturday.  I got up at 3:30 (1:30 Oregon time), flew out of Nashville at 7:00 and spent 7 hours on airplanes so I was pretty beat.  We headed back into Portland and killed a little time before going to a movie (Gravity 3D is great!), having supper and pretty much calling it a day.

February 23, 2014

We headed out of Portland on Sunday morning and had breakfast at Elmers Restaurant where I had a sausage and cheese omelet (the reason I mention this will be clear later in the day), and then headed southwest through the Tillamook State Forest headed toward the coast.  Our first stop for the day was the Tillamook Air Museum.  I’ve had a passion for aviation since I was a child and my friend decided that this was a must-see stop for that reason.  She was right!

Remember that omelet that I had for breakfast?  It had 100% Real Tillamook Cheese in it and our next visit was the Tillamook Cheese Factory where it is made.  There wasn’t a lot going on that day for some reason, but plants really amaze me and it was interesting to see the process.  It was also great to taste the samples they made available to visitors ;)
The day had started out clear and sunny but by the time we left Tillamook the clouds were boiling up in advance of the rain forecast for Monday.  Unfortunately the rain arrived a bit ahead of time and within a few minutes it was raining pretty steadily.

Despite the rain, we continued our trek west, although in this part of the country one can only go so far west before running into the Pacific Ocean.  Rather than drive into the ocean we stopped at the Cape Mears State Park to see the Cape Mears Lighthouse, the shortest lighthouse in Oregon.  While the lighthouse may be one of the draws to the state park it is an absolutely magnificent area in its own right.  The views from the bluffs are fantastic and had it not been raining I could have stayed there all day and just looked at the Pacific Ocean.
From Cape Mears we headed north to Cannon Beach, OR, had a fabulous dinner, and called it a day.

February 24, 2014

I awoke early to the sounds of the crashing surf on Cannon Beach, OR.  It was a cold, gloomy dawn that turned into drizzling rain a couple of hours later but I managed to get a few photographs before that happened.  I didn’t realize how rocky the Oregon coast is until I saw it.  The area I saw was pretty much one saw-toothed coast line after another.

After a great breakfast at the Pig’n Pancake in Cannon Beach we headed north along the coast and made a short stop at the Ecola State Park for some more fantastic views of the rugged Oregon shoreline.
The photos clearly show that the misty rain forecast for today is indeed upon us.  Regardless we headed further north along the coast to see the wreck of the Peter Iredale, a four-masted sailing vessel that ran ashore on October 25, 1906.  Not a lot is visible now however I have to wonder how much more is below the sand.  There was a piece of steel embedded in the sand and when I kicked it all I got for my efforts was a sore foot.  It was pretty well solidly sunk into the sand giving me the impression that there may be far more below the sand than is visible.
We left the shipwreck and headed back south to Highway 26 and along the way saw a small herd of wild Elk grazzing alongside the road.  Since neither of us had seen an elk in the wild it was an occasion for a couple of photographs.  Yes, the second is a crop of the first but I did take a couple of other shots.  This one was better though so I stopped with these ;)
That was enough for today.  We headed east to Portland, had some supper and called it a day once again.

February 25, 2014

My friend and hostess had to go back to work on Tuesday and I had agreed to take some photos for her company’s web site.  After that I was on my own for the afternoon so I headed for what was certain to be an interesting spot: A cold-war era submarine ;)

The USS Blueback (SS 581), a 219′ long, 29′ beam, Barbel-class submarine is on moored on the Willamette River outside the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.  Since self-guided tours are not allowed I had to settle for a guided tour, but it was still great.  I had never been up close to a submarine before this so it was a real treat for me.

Afterwards I had some time left over so I consulted my GPS to see what interesting sites were in the vicinity.  Hmm, the “Wings of Freedom Project” has a B-17 on display that sounds interesting.  Why not??

Well, there isn’t a whole lot left of “Lacey Lady” however the Wings of Freedom Project is trying to remedy that.  Lacey Lady has been sitting out in front of The Bomber restaurant since 1947 and the elements have taken their toll as noted in This News Story.  When I was there it was little more than a hulk for the birds to nest in, but with luck they will get her restored.
I went back to my friend’s office and waited for her to get off work for a little while, and thought about all that I had seen and enjoyed.

February 26, 2014

My friend dropped me off at the airport on her way to work this morning, and I caught a plane headed back east.  What a trip!  So much scenery and enjoyment packed into so few days.  But it isn’t always the amount of time spent on a vacation but what you do, the people you spend it with, and the memories you take home.  This one certainly falls well into that category.  My thanks to all for making this one so memorable.  As always I owe you one, yet again!