Friday, July 26, 2019

Coming Home On the Road

July 12-18, 2019
Tillamook, Oregon

You know those landmarks that tell you you're almost home? Might be a corner store, or an old tree. It's a sight that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy about where you're going. 

One of the reasons I like Tombstone, Arizona, so much is that I get that feeling when we see the familiar mountain ranges, when we make that turn into town. There's another place that affects me the same way - Tillamook, Oregon.

Our first stay four years ago was only for one night, then we spent three weeks here two years ago. Returning this summer, I'm so excited when we cross the Netarts River, when we pass the sign for Munson Falls, when we see the road construction in town is finally complete. Not likely we will ever live here permanently, but it sure feels like coming home.

A week is not enough, and before leaving this time I make a two-week reservation for next August. We'll be coming from the north so we'll see if that feeling is the same :-)

This visit we're staying at the Misty River RV Park and our site is right on the Wilson River. We can't get completely level and satellite doesn't connect at the bottom of two forest-covered mountains, but it's a beautiful spot. We have lots of green space and the only access point for the river is next to us - perfect!

River in our backyard (and poop bags too)!
We celebrate our return at Las Margaritas. First impression isn't great with sticky floors and sad chips and salsa. But we're not quitters and the margaritas and entrees are delicious :-) 

Las Margaritas - cute and hard to miss!
We enjoy perfect weather, including one post-car wash rainstorm, during our stay. With a heat wave covering most of the country we appreciate how blessed we are to have the option to spend summer in the Pacific Northwest. For us, there just isn't a better place to be this time of year.

Our first morning Bill calls me outside to see our neighbor.

It's wonderful that we see more of them now - so majestic.
Can't be in the area without breakfast at Parkside Cafe in Garibaldi. Our favorite waitress greets us (Tessa gets a roasted turkey treat), and again - feels like home :-) They have the very best coffee! 

We continue north, enjoying the amazing coastal views, and turn around in Nehalem after enjoying a couple scoops from Buttercup (thanks again Eric and Laurel). The lemon lavender sorbet is still the favorite.

I love this view of Tillamook Bay from Garibaldi Harbor. 
A stop at pretty Rockaway Beach

A giant serpent rises above the water...
One of the best things about Tillamook is all the water - ocean, bay, creeks, sloughs and lots of rivers. We didn't see Nehalem Falls last time so we spend an afternoon along the river and under the trees. Several primitive campsites, but mostly very steep water access. 

A pretty combination of short falls and smooth pools.

One of the prettiest drives on the Oregon Coast is the Three Capes Scenic Drive. It includes Cape Meares, Cape Lookout, and Cape Kiwanda. Although there's a section permanently destroyed by mudslides that means it's no longer a real loop, it's worth making the drive to Cape Meares and turning around to pick up the rest of the drive. 

We chose a rainy day to make the trip this time. Still, the parking lot at Cape Meares lighthouse is full. The trail to Octopus Tree is muddy so we don't wait around for a spot.

Wind across the surf.

Seals on a sand bar in Netarts Bay

I swear they're looking at me!

Cape Lookout

Sweeping shore views.

Tall dunes.

Cape Kiwanda
Good friends Jim and Diana (ExploRVistas) worked with a special park ranger during their time in Prineville, and learned she had moved to Nehalem Bay State Park. On our last day we made the drive to see if we could find Ranger Mariah. Sadly we miss her :-(, but we check out the very large campground. Definitely popular with families, this is a crowded park with very tight spaces - in a really beautiful place.

Nehalem Bay State Park
Bummed we missed Mariah, but to help us feel better we make another stop at Buttercup :-))

After two months in Oregon, next we move north to Washington to see the only section of Hwy 101 we've yet to travel.

Back in SoCal......

Oh Ezra, you crack me up!


  1. I've been to the Olympic National Park a dozen times when living in the area, but only once as an adult. It's an amazing place I never appreciated in those high school visits.
    We bypassed the 3-Capes Loop due to traffic/construction issues. Hope that is reopened for our next trip!

    1. If the construction issue was the closure then it's permanent so be sure you explore the loop-ish next time! We're in the Olympic NP for the next couple weeks and looking forward to finding new adventure.

  2. Being in the PNW is such a treat in the summer. Nothing like the cool coast to help one forget about the heat everywhere else. Love all your travels along the coast. So much green. Have fun in Washington.

    1. As much as we love our desert the rest of the year, we agree there's no place better than here in the hot months!

  3. We feel the same way when we go to Port Aransas or Anthem AZ, they both feel like home. We know where things are, have our favorite places and have made lots of great memories there. I think you picked the best place to be this summer, sounds like a great place to spend some time.

    1. You Port Aransas spot is a piece of home/heaven for sure!! Had never been to Anthem before this year and agree it's special too. I'm already excited to return to Tillamook!

  4. So hope you get to meet Mariah next year, Jodee...she is a treasure! Speaking of treasures, I’ll bet an hour in a Party City with Ezra is an adventure!

    1. We will definitely find her next year!!

      Well anywhere with Ezra is an adventure, but he's a kick in the butt when there's hats :-)))

  5. We loved that part of the Oregon coast, thanks for the flashback:)

  6. My home is on the north Oregon Coast and I so appreciate your wonderful photos
    of this area. Will watch for your return next year.

  7. So enjoyed your blog entry of my favorite place in the world. We lived in Garibaldi for 6 yrs in the 50's when logging was king!!! Dad had a log truck.... We always spend time at Twin Rocks/Rockaway area. Bar View.. there is a great RV camp there... I was there the same time you were!! And the days were lovely indeed. Yes, love the Parkside, they have the best filet mignon... melts in yr mouth... Crabbing on the pier is fun..

    1. Glad I did it justice! We'll be back next August if you're there let me know :-)

  8. Oh, I love those places that feel like "home." :-) How fun that you've already booked your favorite spot for next year! And I'm so glad that Buttercup is one of your favorites, as well. Her chowders and ice creams are really special.
    Those seals ARE looking at you! They're curious about people...we've had baby seals swim right up to our kayak thinking that we're their mama, LOL.

    1. We even stopped at the little fish hatchery again :-) Those seals were so dang cute.

  9. That bald eagle makes for a stunning neighbor! Love your coastal photos, especially the "dunes" one.

    1. Those dunes just sort of pop out of the trees along the coast in a short area - they're so pretty with the dancing grasses.

  10. You definitely scored on your campsite and you continue to make me drool and miss the PNW, a place I have called home.

    1. I hope you're able to come back for a visit this year!!