Saturday, July 1, 2017

Sad to Leave, Happy to Go

June 26-30, 2017
Garibaldi, Oregon

Life is good when the place you're at is so wonderful you don't want to leave it, AND the next place is so fun you can't wait to go there!

We're glad we had three weeks in the Tillamook area, and know we'll come back for another few weeks in the future. Rivers, beaches, forest, people and weather are all pretty perfect here.

Still, moving about an hour south to spend the Fourth of July holiday with our good friends Janis and Nick is something we've looked forward to for months. Can't believe we've waited two years to do this!

But we're not gone yet, and our last week is a good one. No more rain, no more heat - just right.

One morning Bill spots this beauty on the bay at low tide.

Only our second bald eagle sighting, and in our front yard!
A short stop on the Nestucca River south of Tillamook.
The sporting goods store tells Bill that we missed the best access spot on the Trask River so we head back on Tuesday to remedy that oversight. With narrow roadside parking for 1.5 vehicles and a sign no larger than a mile marker we don't feel bad about missing it last time!

A steep trail drops to a base of rough rocks that require a good scramble to the water. But what a spot! 

Called the Dam Spot on the Trask River. You-know-who wastes no time doing you-know-what.

Rapids and rocks

on both sides

of tranquil pools.

Natural caves along the river.

Some butt sliding for me to get down. I much prefer the going up in these places.

Medusa peeks over the trial.

Water remains in the holes, indicating the river was recently much more full.
Further up the road we turn around near this bridge. Sometimes it really feels like we live in a beautiful painting.

I planned to visit all the local museums while here, but that doesn't happen. Some places you just want to spend your time outdoors. Wednesday I visit the little (small, tiny) Latimer Quilt and Textile Center while Bill fishes along the Wilson River just up the road. 

I'm not a quilter, and my seams pucker if I just walk near a sewing machine, but I do appreciate the art and variety of handcrafted textiles. There really isn't enough to see here to justify even the $4 fee, but I don't mind contributing the small amount to sustain the pretty local center. The rural surroundings are just as delightful, and that's where Tessa and I spend most of our time before calling for our fisherman to come get us.

The center is in this cute historic schoolhouse.

The exhibit room features one artist who "combines her love of cooking and quilting" but it's just all weird and unappealing to me.

Not for me.

All the looms have work in progress. I like to think I'd have the patience.

Handspun yarn. As soft as it looks.

The only quilt I get a photo of is the mural outside.

Tessa meets her first goat :-)))

My attempts at goat-speak fail to get her to go for it.

Few critters are as funny looking as a shaved llama/alpaca. They make very weird noises at the fluffy dog so we keep going.

Nature dresses up an abandoned farmhouse.

Full blooms

and new buds.

Tire'd goats.
Holding on.
While us gals are doing our thing, Bill catches a couple fish. He's happy to say he's caught a few on every river here except the Miami which we were never able to access. Another reason we'll be back :-)

Munson Creek Falls are the highest in the Coast Range at 319 feet. The half mile trail follows the creek through beautiful Sitka Spruce and towering redwoods. 

Munson Creek Falls, Beaver, Oregon
Unfortunately our usual good timing doesn't apply here and we share the hike with a family of five very active children. It's more jealousy than annoyance as they run the trail back and forth several times. A single woman can't hold back her yellow lab who also takes off down the narrow path. So much frenetic energy in such a peaceful place!

We make a few stops to catch some solo time and enjoy the beauty of water moving over rocks, and the artistry that is ever present on the forest floor. It is a magical place.

A fantasy world of emerald and silver.

Fairies disguised as tiny flowers run down a moss-covered log. Giggles are heard in moments of quiet.

Water nymphs pilot a small black and green boat through the waves.

Gnome home decorated in a variety of color and texture.

The mighty water god keeps watch.
Delicate trail angel lies still when we walk past.
From tall waterfalls to tall mountains, we drive up to Hebo Lake on Mount Hebo (again with the creativity here). The small lake, large pond is surrounded by tall trees and a primitive campground. Today seems to be our day for noisy others and here the single group of campers believe the whole place wants to hear their music. I don't, so after a short walk around, Tessa and return to Piper to listen to an audio book with the windows up. 

No fish, but Bill catches four salamanders! He's still laughing about it when he returns after a short time by the water.

Why are you stopping to take another photo?
On a clear day you can see the Pacific from the summit. Today all we can see are the Air Force Station radio towers. 

Trees reach across the road creating a natural tunnel.
Thursday we take Tessa to the beach for more zoomies. Pacific Beach is crowded so we find an open stretch where we can drive on the sand (sorry Sherry), and be away from the handful of people. The sun is out but it's definitely chilly in the wind.

Always something to keep us entertained in our front yard. Friday morning our eagle (I suppose it could be a different one, they all dress alike) returns for sushi breakfast. Sometimes he/she loses balance and has to tuck tail feathers under to stay on the fish, sea gulls walk nearby hoping for an invitation, a younger eagle stops by but is soon run off by the sea gulls who feel their patience means they'll be next on the feast, we watch for almost an hour.

As soon as someone sees we're in Tillamook the first thing they ask is "Did you go to the cheese factory?" I did go to Blue Heron Cheese Factory the first week (a wonderful store with huge variety and selection of foods and wines), but that's not the one they're all asking about.

Friday afternoon we make the obligatory visit to the Tillamook Cheese Factory temporary visitors' center (building a bigger, fancier one due to open next year). I'm amazed at the number of people here! We walk through the farm exhibit and learn about dairy cows, pass the long, long, long line for free cheese samples, pick up a few items in the store, and back out. We do love their cheese, and growing up my dad always had a large brick of cheddar in the fridge, but without the tour of the processing plant it's not much to see. But now the answer is "Yes, we saw the cheese factory." Everyone will be so happy.

Apparently the reason people stop here.

Teaching us that being a dog or cow is preferable to being a farmer.

The life of a dairy cow.

Our small, but tasty haul.
We plan to spend our last day at home getting cleaning and laundry done, and mostly soaking up this beautiful location before we move on. It's been perfect - and now we get to go to another great place!

Yes, life is good.


  1. Man, I wanted to dive into that yarn. And play with the fairies, etc. Love your captions!

    1. I thought about buying one just to play with! Thanks Linda :-)

  2. I do so love these PNW forests! So lush and spellbinding!

    The eagles are awesome! I've been looking for them ever since we entered the NorCal mountains...haven't seen one yet this summer...perhaps on the coast.

    1. We saw a couple in a tree while driving, but having them right out front for so long was a lot of fun.

  3. That is one happy dog on the beach! I just don't understand why all these people don't go away and let us have the places to ourselves! :)))))

    1. Right?! They can have every other day, just don't be there when I am :-)))

  4. You sure did see a lot of different scenes while in the area :-) My mom and aunt are award winning quilters. I think the gene skipped me but I do enjoy sewing-just need to get more time... Maybe one day I'll start a quilt?? Such a handsome Bald Eagle!

    1. I had a small collection of antique quilts that I loved but sold before we hit the road. I love the idea of putting together a quilt but have zero sewing skill :-(

  5. I know exactly what you mean about loving where we are and not wanting to leave, but also being excited about moving on to the next place. It's a good problem to have. ;-) OMG I love the goat photos! And of course, the photos of Tessa zooming on the beach. I'm sorry we missed Munson Creek Falls, so thanks for the beautiful meander through the magical forest. Not sorry we missed Tillamook Cheese Factory, though. I would have done the same as you -- forget standing in line for samples, and just buy some cheese!

    1. The goats were really sweet and their large pen was really clean so it was nice to spend some time watching them. The creek trail was one of the prettiest we've seen.

  6. Been to Latimer's! Love your photos, as always. I especially loved the Eagle! What great shots. I understand the not wanting to leave but good to go.

    1. I think I would have enjoyed Latimers more if the featured artist had pieces I liked. We are very lucky to have both feelings about places we go :-)

  7. Reading your descriptions of the forest amazes me. I can see the gnomes, see and hear the fairies as the giggle. I was laughing too. Safe travels to your next stop. 🤗❤️

    1. Glad you enjoyed the magical forest - it was amazing!!

  8. I love Latimer Textile museum and always go there when I am in Oregon. They have a huge storage building of textiles and will do a quilt turning for you. We asked for mid 1800s quilts. And they were stunning. A few people were in the museum and joined my sister and I, it was truly amazing to see quilts that were made so long ago, see the textiles they much to that little place! All for that four buck fee! You have added to my enjoyment of the area, thank you.

    1. Good to know about that option! It wasn't in the literature nor mentioned by the curator, but next time I'll be sure to ask about it. I love antique quilts!!

  9. The forest in the PNW is truly a fairyland. There is wonder at ever turn. The rivers and lakes are just beautiful. Tessa certainly is giving you a look! I do believe she is saying enough with the photos already! But boy was she loving that beach area for zoomies!! You did a great job capturing her air born. Glad Bill got in some successful fishing. I'm with you, it is hard to visit inside activities with so much beauty outside.

    1. All three of us love the area with all the variety and mild temps although I think Tessa would be most happy to stay on the wide open beach! As fast as she's moving, the shot was a lucky one :-)))

  10. Wow, Bald Eagles TWICE. And just when I didn’t think the area you are in could get any better. What a great place and I’m not even a cheese lover. Well I love it but my arteries don’t. Nice that Bill likes to fish but I’d much rather go exploring with you and Tessa. Great pictures. LOL at Medusa. Absolutely! Actually all your comments are so fun! Seams pucker when you walk by a sewing machine and tire’d goats. HA! Gorgeous looms there. Weaving is so soothing. Glad you and Tessa didn’t get the llama spit. Yuck! Love all that water and the fairy world around it. Love that beautiful beach and all to yourselves. I skipped the car picture of course. Beaches are for zoomies not driving.

    1. Tessa's a goo trail partner - usually patient while I stop to take pics :-)

  11. I love the flying Tessa photo, Jodee!

    We are all set up here in Prineville...and they have a sweet fishing pier! Are you going to be out this way? We'd love to see you again!

    1. I think Albany is the closest we get next month. Will have to see if we can connect nearby. Glad you're enjoying the new place!

  12. I believe there are many places in Oregon and Washington where the little people live and play. So glad you got to see them.

    1. They have so much room to play here - and their decorating is the very best!