Our Oregon Coast Journey, Part Three

Cloud bank over Tillamook Bay

Tillamook Bay

As part of her Brownie work this summer, Anna is taking the Wonders of Water journey. Because she’s currently between troops (for reasons I won’t go into here), she’s taking this journey over the summer with us, and our Oregon Coast trip was a big part of it.

Our first full day on the coast ended in a little town called Garibaldi. On our second day we visited the Tillamook Cheese Factory and the Blue Heron French Cheese Company, both in Tillamook, and then drove the Three Capes Loop down to Pacific City.

The first cape on the loop is Cape Meares, home of the Cape Meares Lighthouse.

Cape Meares Lighthouse

Cape Meares Lighthouse

At only two stories tall, it’s the shortest of the Oregon Coast Lighthouses. The height of the cape made a taller lighthouse unnecessary. Built in 1890, the lighthouse guarded the entrance to Tillamook Bay until it was deactivated in 1963. The lighthouse was spared from demolition by public support, but suffered several major acts of vandalism over the next few years before the State Parks department took over the site in 1968.

Anna at the top

At the top of the light

Unfortunately, the lighthouse was a victim of vandalism again in 2010, but it has since been repaired and reopened. The bullet holes in the lens are still there—a reminder of the damage caused by human ignorance.

Anna at the Octopus Tree

The Octopus Tree

The area around the light is also worth checking out. The unusual Octopus Tree is about a half-mile hike away from the lighthouse, and the Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge just south of the cape is home to a large community of various seabirds.

Thousands of seabirds

A rock crowded with seabirds

A side note—we ran into fellow blogger Evelyn Shoop while we were at Cape Meares and she recommended a great spot to view the birds.

Anna looks through a viewfinder.

Getting a closer look

Continuing along the loop, the next stop is Cape Lookout. We we’re quite up for the 2.5 mile hike to the promontory this time, but we hiked it on an earlier trip and will do it again with Anna someday. As I recall, it’s a great view.

The third of the capes on the Three Capes Loop is Cape Kiwanda, which lies on the north edge of Pacific City. The cape overlooks a beautiful beach and the “other” Haystack Rock. (The more famous one is at Cannon Beach).

Anna on Pacific City beach

On Pacific City Beach

South of Pacific City, the loop rejoins Highway 101 just north of Lincoln City. By this point, we were well into the afternoon so our only stop in Lincoln City was a quick visit to a pottery gallery (for Anna’s pottery badge). We reached Cape Foulweather and the Devil’s Punchbowl around dinnertime.

Devil's Punchbowl

The Devil’s Punchbowl

I pointed out the punchbowl to Anna as an example of the power of water. How over thousands of years the ocean waves dug a cave out of the rock and how eventually the roof of the cave collapsed. Pretty impressive.

We were hungry by then and still a little north of Newport, so we were grateful to stumble across Moe’s West right across the lot from the punchbowl. We all had a delicious dinner and Julia snapped this picture of Anna being silly.

drinking through two straws

Who you calling silly?

From there it was on to Newport and a good night’s rest. Tomorrow would bring a packed day at the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Hatfield Marine Science Center.

(To be continued …)

All photos © 2014 by Julia Ozab.

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