Day 12; Seaside to Newport, Oregon.
Allright! Now we're in the heart of the trip. We took 'the roads even less travelled' today, as we cut off Highway 101 repeatedly to cruise through little towns, parks and viewpoints. First however, we were off to a very late start.
Why get up and going when you can see the surf from bed? The Tradewinds motel (2nd floor) does just that. So we took our time, then walked the beach.FINALLY headed out at 11. Brother! But we are in no hurry.
Cruising through Seaside, it is amazing the changes. Well, duh! My family used to visit friends there forty five years ago. Of course things have changed and mostly for the better. Paved roads, curbs, the 1.8 mile Promenade along the beach, and trendy shops. A few hotel/condos were pretty big and overpowering, but overall a nice town. Riding toward Tillamook, we did some side trips, carved on small black ribbons cut between towering evergreen trees, and the ground covered with Salal and Oregon Grape. Our headlight illuminated sections of road as the canopies of trees converged above. The ocean views came and went, and small towns dotted the seaside.
The city of Tillamook features the Tillamook Cheese factory. Arriving at noon, the place was jammed with tourists, the cars waiting on the highway to enter the site. Inside proved to be worse; lines of people waiting for ice cream, then moving outside eating their cones and sundaes.The cafeteria contained lines deep in people too. Although we were hungry (no breakfast but a bit of fruit and chips), we hopped back on the bike and went into town for lunch, then back to Tillamook Cheese.
The factory section features glass walls above the action so the tourists watch cheese being made. To see cheese go from huge blocks to consumer friendly plastic wrapped sections in a matter of minutes is simply amazing. I'm just happy I never had to work with thousands of people watching my every move.
We resumed the voyage and stopped at Boiler Bay. In 1910, the J. Marhoffer, a small freighter,sank in the bay and during low tide the boiler can still be seen. This is one of my favorite spots on the West coast. Waves crash into the rocks, sending up clouds of salt spray. The following stop, Devil's Punchbowl, featured more pounding waves on rocks, only different. The punchbowl is a few hundred feet wide, and if the tide is right, the water boils up and spouts up the chasm. The views up and down the coast are beautiful as well.
We just resumed the trip when we approached Depoe Bay, and dozens of people lined the walk, looking at something. Feeling like cows, we dismounted and looked, too. The Little Woman asked a guy, and they had spotted a whale. I saw it very briefly, but it moved along.
Depoe bay is called the smallest harbor in the world. The access is a small neck that is skirted by rocks on either side and cuts under the highway, then opens up to the tiny harbor. The skipper of the boat must be skilled and confident.
We finally settled at Newport, after a long trip of perhaps 150 miles. Well,we started late, took the slow roads and stopped often, but the rewards were worth it. Now if we could just see a little more of our friend, Mr. Sun.