The clouds moved and the rain stopped. Yeah! time to wander around again and do some fun things, view and taste. Our meanderings began on a very scenic drive along Hwy 101 from Lincoln City driving up North, then came off to follow the 35-mile byway between Tillamook and Pacific City, known as Three Capes Scenic Loop. The beauty of Cape Kiwanda, Cape Lookout and Cape Meares justified leaving the main highway. And yes every twist, turn, curve took us to some awesome coastal views.
Driving north we first stopped at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area located in Pacific City. Then continuing on the scenic route we came to a winding drive that took us to Cape Lookout where we found 3 trailheads to some nicely wooded trails that offer splendid views of the ocean and beaches. We choose to hike on the Cape trail which was quite muddy but the views were really splendid. We got hungry after an hour of hiking and head to Netarts Bay where we had lunch at The Schooners, a pricey $25 Crab and Shrimp salad! But it was delicious and worth it. Next stop was Cape Meares where we strolled to the lighthouse which begins at the parking lot and provides dramatic views of an offshore wildlife refuge and Cape Meares Rocks.
In short, if you happen to be driving along Hwy 101 on the North Oregon Coast be sure to swing by and bring your camera. The fantastic views, the history, the hiking trails, the lighthouses made up for the curvy and rough roads. It was well worth the drive.
After the sightseeing, we continued on to watch some cheese making and cheese tasting at the Tillamook Cheese factory. We watched the packaging area and saw the flow of how the cheese blocks are made. And then the ice cream, oh yeah, the BEST! I rarely eat ice cream but I could not pass this one up. It was really to die for. There were so many flavors and I chose the Mountain Huckleberry, yum yum! We also check out the Blue Heron Cheese Company and tasted a variety of Bries and of course wine tasting.
As if the airplanes we saw at the Evergreen Aviation museum were not enough we stopped by at the Tillamook Air Museum where we saw more airplane collection! It is a little different though however as these planes were housed in a rare World War II Blimp Hangar…the largest wooden structure in the world! The place is huge and can store 8 Blimps!