Wow, what a great spot. How can I find more like this! Grounds are rolling green carpets, spacious with trees and shrubbery. It’s surreal as the place in almost empty. I paid the day pass ($4) and hiked around the area. Sat by the river for 2 hours and tried to sketch. Ended up writing a poem. Not happy with my creative disposition at the moment. Feeling a bit “so what” about it all. Started drizzling.
JP is having a blast swimming in the rivers and ocean. He loves all water. Temporarily losing his mind except for focus on the water. If he weren’t on a leash I’d have lost him by now. In an isolated area I let him off leash as an experiment. Sure enough, he went straight for the river and kept swimming further out, ignoring my calls. I had to jump in with blue jeans on and snag him out. JP was oblivious to my shouts; totally mesmerized by movement, flash of reflections and splash of water. Drove all the way back down the mountain to a simple one way bridge over the river. Decided to explore the other side of river which was edged with a dirt/gravel lumber truck road winding precariously along a narrow ledge. I followed bumpy road up about 4 miles. Spotted three hidden campsites along the way by following paths off the road. One has a rope swing over river.
How cool is this? People camping in the state forest for free. I spot a 5th wheel parked
on a flattened area. Must have been bulldozed. Didn’t look like private property.
No signs posted. So, this gets me excited about possiblilities. I’m taking GPS readings and starting a site reference for future use.
Still a gray day. I head back to camp and leave dogs. Drove a few miles north to check out town of Garibaldi. The name sounds familiar but can’t make the connection.
Its a fishing town with a marine museum, a church, a few bars, and a great grid of docks
with moored boats. Picturesque, but the evening light is wrong angle. Everything is silhouetted in an uninteresting way. The fishermen are cleaning tuna and throwing fish guts in the water to the noisy gulls. No wonder these gulls look so story book plump.
Stopped into the Ghost Hole. The restaurant/bar stretched outside to a wonderful patio garden area with tables and a place for live music. I ordered a beer and sat down in a dark corner in front of a video slot machine. Got very lucky and had winnings up to over $300! But couldn’t stop and ended up with $150. Kept hitting the Bonus for free spins. Went into market, bought a few provisions. Home to bed early.
In the morning drove with dogs through Tillamook out to coastal town Netarts. Visited the state park there. Enjoyed walking beaches. Walked for miles beneath cloud veiled pale gray skies. Very few people, free and breezy. Nice afternoon. Continued drive up to Oceanside. Looks like money here. New contemporary construction packed in along the bluff. Oceanside beaches are gorgeous. Three rock islands, could be cousins of Haystack, distinguish skyline.We travel a few miles north to Cape Mears Lighthouse.
The place is packed with visitors. I breathe deeply and connect with my inner patience.
Had to leave dogs in truck as there was too many people going every direction and a third of them with dogs. The dogs were still wet with ocean coolness. I figured I had 20 minutes to see the Octopus tree and the Lighthouse. Mission accomplished, plus I got to see where Puffins nest on the rocks. I thought I was going to take my time on this adventure but I’m finding it necessary to keep moving.
We head back to Tillamook and visit NAST, the Naval Air Station Tillamook flight Museum. Cousin Jim suggested as a must see. The building itself is a friggin monster. A wonderous structure looking like a gigantic bunker (15 stories high). Many planes inside, as one may suspect. Bi-planes, fighter jets, cessnas, helicopters, and engines galore. It was very dark inside. Too dark, hard to read tour information. You can get up close and inside cockpit on a few of the planes. Almost bought a souvenir but reasoned against it.
Got home around 6 and fed dogs. Will pack up tomorrow morning and visit the Tillamook cheese factory then head for Lincoln City.