Thursday, April 24, 2014

Cape Meares, Tillamook Cheese Factory and Tillamook Forest Center

We started at Cape Meares just south of Tillamook and what we thought might be a wet, windy and miserable day we really lucked out and as you can see from the picture above, it was a beautiful day! We walked around with several other homeschool families, looked for some whales and once the lighthouse opened for the day, we visited it as well.

After visiting the lighthouse and checking out a couple of view points we headed in to see the octopus tree

The Octopus tree is a sitka spruce, which is a light wood and used during the earlier days of aviation, There is some debate on different websites if this was actually used to make Howard Hughes "Spruce Goose" or if it was mostly built of birch...I'll put both down here so my bases are covered. Though it was also mentioned that the spruce was used in several WWII fighter planes. We got a few pictures with our friends who joined us for the day and are super fun to hang out with.

I should mention, she also makes some of the best food! She made a wonderful zucchini bread she shared with us, that even Kaitlyn who refuses anything to do with veggies liked it. Dominic even had a bit of it when we got home and really liked it as well!

 Next it was over to the Tillamook cheese factory, a self guided tour, some yummy samples and of course we had to have some small ice cream cones! I didn't take many photo's there and I've not yet gotten a few of them from our friends who took some for us, so not much in the photo department there!

Tillamook Forest Center was great, we had a nice introduction by the employee's there, had a fun scavenger hunt and watched a movie about the "Tillamook Burn" which completely destroyed the forest not once, but 4 times (collectively known as the Tillamook Burn)  These fires happened 6 years apart from 1933 to 1951. According to the locals it was considered the 6 year curse. After the last one in 1951 there was a huge effort to plant tree's covering all the 300,000 + acres. Between people organized to plant them, and actually dropping seeds from airplanes in those area's unreachable by hand the area was revitalized. Today the area is beautiful..
Visiting the Tillamook area is always such a delight! We are usually there in the late summer/early fall so seeing the river so much higher and FASTER than we normally do was something to admire! We had a great time, met lots of new homeschoolers, and as always, enjoyed a day with family and friends.