We spent several days at Fort Stevens State Park located at the northwestern tip of Oregon(just near of Astoria…home of the Goonies. This excited me.) The park is massive, almost amusement park-like, with loops and loops of campsites, miles of trails, a lake, beach access, and, obviously, a very large fort which somehow we failed to visit while staying there. We are terrible tourists. We did manage to walk out to the beach and see the wreckage remains of the Peter Iredale which ran ashore in 1906. For the majority of our stay, the days there were rainy and cloudy (which, according to a Canadian we spoke to, is the perfect bike riding weather. Um…okay.) While we had a nice stay there (except for Chris‘ terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Wednesday), we were ready to move on in search of sunshine, after all, this is Oregon, a state notorious for sunshine, er…right?
We move along south in hopes of finding another campsite but apparently the Oregon coast, in all its clouded beauty, is the most popular destination in July and the state parks were completely full. The drive along the coast is amazing and we made a few stops along the way to take pictures. Our most important stop, however, was the Tillamook Cheese Factory. I had looked forward to this moment for days and I am pretty sure Chris was excited too, especially since he’s the one who eats bars of cheese like a Snickers. We started first with the most important part of the factory: the free samples. Had the line not been so long, we would have gone back for seconds, and quite possibly thirds, and perhaps risk being asked to leave the facility for consumption of too many samples.
Next, we took in the self-guided tour and watched the large chunks of cheese move swiftly along the conveyor belt and miraculously come out all nice and wrapped, ready for delivery. Lastly, no stop at Tillamook is complete without eating in the Tillamook café, where we appropriately dined on disgustingly delicious grilled cheese sandwiches. We left feeling content yet ill.
Continuing along, we made a very worthwhile stop at a scenic viewpoint to snap some shots of the Heceta Head Lighthouse (Amazing!) as well as the sea lions perched on the rocks below. The views were breathtaking and had we been able to find a place to stay, this lighthouse looked to be worth a closer look. Of course, I have a thing for lighthouses.
We parked for the night at the Port of Siuslaw campground, only a block from the Florence Old Town district, a cute town with a number of quaint stores and restaurants, as well as the port which offered fresh fish right off the boat. Again, we failed to participate in that opportunity as well. Nonetheless, It was a great place to stay the night and even better, we found our blue skies.
[To see more pictures, click on our photo album to the left and check out the Oregon album.]