Saturday, June 29, 2013

Wildlife near Cannon Beach, OR

 The title of this post is "Wildlife Near Cannon Beach."  Just look at the wild life in the opening pictures (Manzita Beach in the background).  Unfortunately, the four of us (at least Dianne and me), have left the wild life behind.   However, we did see some remarkable animals on that day.  Dianne's hair was kinda wild though, was it not?

Cannon Beach is just nine miles north of our campsite.  We drove past it so we could drive through Seaside (pretty touristy), and then back to the tony town of Cannon Beach.  No pictures here as we wandered through the shops.  Too busy looking around.  We had a great lunch at Mo's Clam Chowder --- highly recommended -- and then headed back to Manzanita.

Eagles and Starfish and Adults on Tricycles, Oh My!

On the way back we noticed that it was low tide.  Nancy wanted to see some of the life in the tidal pools, so we found a state park wayside, took off our shoes and walked down to the beach.  The first set of pools were devoid of visible life, at least to our eyes, but were certainly scenic.

As we wandered around the beach, I noticed that Nancy and Dianne seemed to be headed back to Cannon Beach.  I surmised that they were on their way to the next haystack rock to check out the tidal pools there.  It was a hike, but worth it.

As Jay and I picked up the pace to catch up (which we never did), we noticed that they had stopped.  Nancy was staring at the trees atop the beachside cliff.  Dianne had her camera in full serious picture position.

I am pretty sure that we had not seen bald eagles since we camped at Franklin Locks near Ft. Myers, FL.  Dianne was able to get a striking picture.

Almost there.  I could see Dianne and Nancy hopping around the tide pools.  Was there anything there?

Tucked into an alcove were two purple starfish.  

Not just two --- the entire surface was filled with these interesting creatures as they clung to the wall of rock.

Time to head back.  What a view.

As we gazed at the eagles on the return walk, we were attacked by a swarm of frenetic humans on low-rider tricycles.  It sure did look like fun.

Back to Manzanita and another sunset picture.

Next up?  The home of "The Goonies".

The pet picture of the day shows how well our three animals get along.  Bandido and Tequila were taking turns licking Charlie while he rested at Dianne's feet.  Despite the lovin', I am not sure how much he appreciated the slobbers.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Munson Falls and Tillamook (say cheese!)

Roger here...  It was time to get some cheese to go with our wine.  Where to go?  When I think of cheese, I think of Wisconsin, but also Tillamook.  Tillamook is only 20 miles south of our location near Manzanita, much closer than Wisconsin.  

Delayed gratification is a sign of a mature mind.  Being very mature we drove past the cheese factory and stopped a few miles down the road to do a quarter-mile hike to Munson Falls.  Jay's head added a splash of gray to the otherwise green growth beneath the towering pines and giant Sitka spruce trees that enveloped us as we walked.

The sounds of splashing water enhanced the lush growth.

These shamrocks were the size of silver dollars.  

After passing a moss ladened tree, the falls came into view.

After a while, it is difficult to conjure up new adjectives to describe the scenery that we see.  Suffice it to say, these jaw-dropping falls were well worth the short walk and the longer car ride up a bumpy road.

Nancy offered to take a picture for a young lady and her three cute girls.  The lady reciprocated for us at the end of the trail.  Do you think we look hungry?  I think we were hungry.  Let's go get us some cheese!

Our first Tillamook stop was at the Blue Heron French Cheese Company.  It was in this expansive showroom  that we sampled a variety of brie, bleu cheese,  jams, and salsas.  We actually skipped the wine tasting area.  Pretty yummy.

A mile down the road, we arrived at our ultimate destination, the Tillamook Cheese Factory.  This place is the 10th most popular attraction in the state of Oregon.  There were certainly plenty of visitors on the day of our visit.

We walked up a flight of stairs to view the automated cheese production below, and then wandered through the gift shop that was filled with kitchen gadgets that Dianne could not resist.   Exhausting work, for us.  We required sustenance.  There is a picture of me sampling the various cheeses, but I did not include it because it looks as if I have been sampling too many cheese samples. 

I do, however, have a nice shot of Dianne enjoying some Tillamook ice cream in a double-dipped cone.

We are likely to make a second trip here, but first we have to empty out some of the contents of the fridge.

Our next post will document a quick trip to Cannon Beach, and a great beach walk filled with tidal life, bald eagles, and scurrying adults on tricycles.

We do not have a pet picture today, but for those pet lovers among you, I want to assure you that the dogs have been loving their lengthy (leash-free) romps on the beach every morning before we go exploring with our friends.

Here is another sunset picture from Manzanita Beach.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Willamette Valley, Oregon

Roger here....  For those of you who follow us, we apologize for dropping off the edge of the Earth for a few days.  We have excuses.  Of course we have excuses.  Our dear friends from Indiana, Jay and Nancy, have been with us this past week, so we have been busier than usual.  AND, we have been parked under a tree at Nehalem Bay State Park; therefore, our satellite internet coverage has been nonexistent.  

We are still at Nehalem Bay State Park, but we, ahem, emptied our sewer tanks this morning and parked at a slightly different angle.  The satellite now has a clear view to the southern sky and we have returned to the connected world.

Our last day in
Newport was quiet, but we did travel to the Newport Farmer's Market to buy some fresh produce.  Every state seems to have its idiosyncrasies.  There are a lot of them where we spend the winter in Texas.  Oregon has more than its share.  You cannot pump your own gas in Oregon, as it must be done by an attendant (takes me back a few decades).  AND, pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way.  This is true in most states, but it is a religion in Oregon.  In the picture above, notice the lady on the way to the market with the yellow flag.  She picked it up on one side of the street and deposited it in a container on the other side for others to use.  When we left Roseburg a few weeks ago, I was stopped (no ticket) by a friendly (he really was) officer because I did not stop at a cross walk where people were waiting to cross on the sidewalk.... a new place to focus attention.  I now psych up every time we drive into a town.  People here tend to plunge into the street, knowing that the traffic is required to stop.  When I am on foot, I still look both ways --- you never know when an ignorant out-of-stater might come barging through.

The drive to Nehalem Bay State Park near Manzanita was uneventful except
for the magnificent scenery along the Oregon Coast.  Jay and Nancy arrived the day after we arrived, so Dianne had time to plan for a delicious welcome dinner.  After a search we found the freshest of fresh salmon (caught that morning) at the local grocery.  The manager of the meat counter actually called us when it arrived.  Yum.

Since the weather forecast was gloomy for the following day, we decided that it would be the perfect day to visit the Willamette Valley wineries.  Sampling wines can always be an indoor activity.  

The first leg of the hour-long drive to the Willamette Vally was certainly not as quiet as our drive along the coast two days before.  100 yards before our turn from Hwy 101 to Hwy 26 we rounded a corner and found a tractor-trailer blocking both lanes of traffic.  The accident had obviously just happened --- no police or emergency vehicles.  Not sure how it happened (ongoing discussion between Jay and Nancy).  The good news,  for us, was that the trucker went to the back of the trailer and directed traffic from both directions.  (Nice guy)  We were soon on our way.

We visited several
wineries, including: Elk Cove, Erath, and Winderlea.  The wines (mostly pinots) were good; however, the highlight at these three establishments may have been the eye-popping Oregon scenery and landscaping.  Warning.... lots of scenic views:

Since we already have plenty of wine and because pinots are not our favorite, we were not tempted to spend money other than the tasting fees.  However, we spent quite a bit of time at the last winery in the town of Dundee.  The Argyle Winery specializes in sparkling wines and champagnes --- something different.  

 The landscaping around the winery was extremely well-done  --- slate walkways (just like our previous home in Indiana).

 The front porch entry way also reminded us of our last home in Pendleton, IN.

 More than a lot.  The front view of the winery could have been built by the same builder who built our former house in the early 1900s.

Here's two photos (winter and summer) of our old Indiana house that the Argyle Winery reminded us of:
Winter Scene
Front Porch Summer
We sampled the various champagnes and sparkling wines --- excellent.

We did not want to transport more wine -- especially wine that might need to be refrigerated -- in our motor home. 

However, Jay did some serious damage as he had quite a bit of champagne shipped.  The plaques on the wall were letters of appreciation from the White House thanking Argyle for various wines that were served at Presidential functions.  The letters included thanks from the George H.W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama administrations.  Impressive.

Needless to say, this was our favorite stop.  The knowledgeable lady who poured our wines offered to take our picture together.  


We plan to close our Manzanita posts with sunset pictures taken from Jay and Nancy's motel on the beach.

What goes with wine?  Cheese, of course --- the topic of our next post.  Check back soon, for we plan to catch up on our postings from our event-filled week with our friends.

The pet picture of the day is a particularly good shot of Tequila.

Mom uses lots of slipcovers so I can lay on the furniture!