Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Cheese and Vistas

River and I started off our day by visiting the Tillamook cheese factory. I carried him through the self-guided tour. Through a series of signs and films, we learned how cheddar cheese is made. Most interesting, we were able to look out over the factory floor, at the automated processes of cutting, weighing, and packing the cheese. We also saw the cheese being stirred early in production.

I enjoyed learning how cheddar cheese is made. I also enjoyed the samples of cheese curds and cheddar available at the end, as well as the shop, where I purchased cheese and Oregon black cherry ice cream.

Mark visited the Tillamook air museum, where an impressive collection of old aircraft is housed in a former blimp hangar.

Continuing south we enjoyed continued spectacular coastal views, as well as farmland, lots of cows, and everpresent forested hills. The entire coast is lined with thick forests, with occasional hillsides depleted from logging.

We stopped in the town of Depoe Bay, which claims to be the world’s smallest harbor. We looked into taking a boat out to watch whales, but not many whales are around this time of year. We were told they’ll start heading north from Baja California in about two weeks. We read that the entire Oregon coast is at risk of tsunamis and has been hit several times in the past. They come after earthquakes from the fault that lies off the coast and runs the entire length of Oregon. The instructions recommended keeping oneself safe during the earthquake itself, then quickly moving up and inland.

At Cape Perpetua Scenic Area we enjoyed some of a series of well-organized scenic hiking trails, seeing the shoreline up close at low tide. We saw the driftwood that collects, the dramatic shoreline, and the pastel colors that wash over the area as dusk falls.

We finished our day just outside of Florence, at the Lakewood Suites Motel, a great motel on the shores of a beautiful forested lake. Another enjoyable and sunny day in Oregon.

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