You don’t have to hang out very long in Oregon before you realize that there are plenty of Oregonian goods that have foodies smiling. Oregon is famous for their microbrews and the wine country is highly popular with picky pinot drinkers who indulge in the delicious pinot noirs and gris. But if you come to the coast and land in Tillamook you will recognize the unmistakable scent of cows but relish in the creamy delectable products that these bovines subtly produce.
|Awesome combination a VW "doobie van" and cheese.|
Not thirty minutes after parking the RV, we were headed to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. I am a lover of cheese and consider it to be its own food group on the very bottom of the pyramid – that way I get to eat more of it than other food groups. After all, how could we pass up the state’s number one tourist attraction and the free samples, to boot? I admit I jabbed four samples on one toothpick, hit every flavor, and went back for seconds.
Here was my buffet. Our favorite was the squeaky cheese curds. Those big orange blocks are cheese getting cut, proportioned, and packaged so they can be sent to a store near you. Tillamook is also known for their ice cream. Yum!
Tillamook’s early pioneers had a burning desire to cross the challenging mountains to reach the fertile lands that rest on Tillamook Bay. The pioneers began farming the rich lands but soon realized they had no means to import much needed goods or export their products. In 1854, early settlers built the Morning Star and loaded it full of butter, potatoes, salmon and other goods, launched it in Tillamook Bay and returned it full of much needed goods and mail. An industry was born.
Our appetite for cheese was only wetted by the visit to Tillamook Cheese Factory. Next up was the Blue Heron French Cheese Company for some of their tasty brie. In addition to cheese, there is wine tasting, gourmet food items and gifts. Venture around the property and you can feed the goats, donkeys, and foul.
|Two goats and ....|
Last stop on our food quest was to the Tillamook Country Smoker for their salty good sausages. Just a dollar will get you two feet of sausage which was just enough for Spirit and I to satisfy our taste buds. Betsy doesn't like smoked sausage so we get it all!
One thing about the Oregon Coast is when the sun shines you better get out and enjoy it. We took a drive to the coastal town of Oceanside for a walk on the beach to get sand between the toes, gaze at a lighthouse, and a savor a bowl of clam chowder…how perfectly coastal! The sun popped in and out which left us warm and wet but it turned out to be a great day on the Oregon Coast!
|Spirit posing in front of Three Arch Rocks - a nesting haven for seabirds.|
|Over 220,000 murres nest on the rocks producing the largest nesting colony south of Alaska. The rocks also support a colony of 2,000-3,000 puffins.|
|The Octopus Tree is a 250-300 year old Sitka|
spruce with a disputed past not sure if the
shape of the tree was caused by natural
forces or Native Americans.
|The Cape Meares Light proudly displays a hand-ground|
Fresnel lens that is one of only two eight-sided lights in the U.S.
It's other claim-to-fame is that it is Oregons' shortest lighthouse.
|And this is why we wanted a bowl of hot clam chowder for lunch.|
|After lunch it was back to the beach before the next storm cleansed us.|
|Look what Spirit found for lunch.|