Sunday, July 20, 2014

Eastward Ho ~ June 18-19, 2014

After breakfast in Seaside we head south on Hwy 101 to pick up Hwy 26 east. But first a side trip to Cannon Beach and Ecola State Park to see the Tillamook Lighthouse. 

Ecola State Park looking south
Tillamook Lighthouse from Ecola overlook
Cannon Beach

The lighthouse is only 20 miles south of the Columbia River, an area known for foul weather and dangerous seas. Research on it's history proved to be quite illuminating, if you'll excuse the pun. The following was excerpted from several sources:

In 1878 the US Congress appropriated funds for a lighthouse on Tillamook Head. After a survey it was determined the light would be obscured by fog, so Tillamook Rock, just off shore was chosen as the alternate site. In May 1880 the Corp of Engineers began the project by blasting off the top of the rock to create a level area for foundations. Transportation to and from the rock, for men and materials, involved the use of a derrick and breeches buoy. Construction took 500 days and was completed in 1881. Violent storms played havoc with the lighthouse on a continuing basis and in 1957 it was finally decommissioned. 

Can you imagine?

It's strange afterlife began in 1959 when it was turned into the "Eternity at Sea Columbarium" by a group of investors from Nevada. There is a delightful article in the October 24, 2007 NY Times that tells the story. It's entitled "Terrible Tillie, Where the Departed Rest Not Quite in Peace". It's worth a read. 

After walks at Ecola State Park and Cannon Beach we head northeast to pick up Hwy 26, off to spend a couple of days with friends Art and Deb in Hillsboro. Just east of Elsie, we run into a major traffic jam. The Department of Transportation has decided to work on three major road repairs at one time, delaying travelers 45-90 minutes in both directions. Fortunately the weather is pleasant and we're in the shade. After an extended period with no traffic going either way we start to see cars coming west. We lost count at 150. There are only 7 cars ahead of us and we're thinking when the east dam is released it'd be a good time to get off the road for a bit. 

The travel gods are smiling on us. In a mile or so we see Camp 18 Restaurant and Logging Museum on our right so we pulled in and parked. Just under 200 cars, that had been stacked up behind us, made their way east. Good call to be off the road. 

After lunch we strolled around part of the grounds. We waited to get back in the car until the westbound traffic began to move. No one would be heading east for at least 30 minutes, so we made a break for it. We only saw part of the collections so we made a note to come back. There is a lot of great history here. 

We arrive at Art and Deb's in the late afternoon, settle in, and adjourn to the deck to enjoy the weather and catch up. 

It's always a treat to be at Chateau Hertz: good company, fine food, cribbage, dining on the deck and walking in the woods. Like us, they rarely come down off their hill unless it's absolutely necessary. Deb decided we'd be her guinea pigs tonight, one of our favorite assignments. She wanted to try a Moroccan Pastilla because she liked the photo in her cookbook (Cooking A to Z Complete Culinary Reference Tool by Jane Horn). Our kind of chef ~ fearless.

The Pastilla was simply amazing. After dinner it was King's Cribbage and Rummy Cubes until we couldn't keep our eyes open. We have a hard day of relaxing ahead of us tomorrow so it's off time bed for some shuteye. 

June 19th

After breakfast we took a walk down their wooded driveway and up the road to visit the neighbor's Alpaca's. They had just been shaved for summer, all but their heads. So they looked a little like Disney characters, all with very different personalities. Only one of my photos turned out, but you can kinda of get the idea. This is the surfer dude. 

After our 2.5 mile walk, Deb grilled chicken sausages for lunch. Rod loved the fact he wasn't cooking for a change and all Deb would me do is set the table. Oh darn!

Afternoon dedicated to visiting, reading and napping on the deck. BBQ quail for dinner and a quiet evening of jazz and cribbage. Tomorrow we head down the hill to Canby for a few days to visit family. This has been a great time out from our time out.