Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Day 20 - Nehalem Bay to Bullards Beach OR

Day 20 started in the fog at Nehalem Bay OR.  This fog stuck with us for much of the day.  We thought that a 211 mile day would be a pretty early one.  My past experience of driving on US101 (which was yesterday) had not adequately prepared me for how long it would actually take to get from there to here.  Nor did it prepare me for how beautiful it would be or how frightening some of the drive would be. There are ups and downs and twists and turns through some very beautiful scenery. 

We came across any number of towns that appear to have seen better days.  This smokestack was an attention getter.  Then we noticed that there is no building to accompany it.  These little towns boast around 300 people and cling precariously to the very rugged coastline.

We saw quite a few people fishing.  They do it from dory shaped boats.  I think that I liked watching the fly fishermen standing in the river better.  The state park ranger said that they were fishing for salmon and crab.  We did see a Smoker Factory and the Smoker Factory Outlet which advertised smoked salmon jerky.  The problem with driving the whale is that when you come upon these interesting places you need to do it slowly and stop right then because there is very little latitude for turning back.

Near Tillamook we started to see a lot of dairy farms and a factory for making Tillamook cheese.  Tillamook also has an Air Museum which is housed in an old blimp hangar.  The place was huge and it was billed as the world's largest wooden structure.  We didn't visit here either.  I'd like to stop everywhere but we will never get out of Oregon at that pace.  We did stop at a place that sells wood and wooden products where Brett bought two blocks of Myrtle wood that he plans to use to make some bowls.
Oregon is noted for many historic bridges.  I am not certain if any that we saw today were historic but I thought they were interesting.  This one was covered.

I loved the designs made by the girders.  It looks like a cathedral to me.

I haven't learned the significance of these pylon-like structures but many of the bridges have them.  The fog and reflections from the dash wreaked havoc with a lot of my pictures today.

Some tidbits from today:
  • I saw a house in one of the tiny towns that had a big red sign on the front lawn.  It said "Reading Champion".  I imagine a 9 year old boy living there with a big pile of books next to his bed.
  • DUI drivers forfeit their vehicles.
  • We were just starting to roll after the light turned green when a pickup truck came up beside us and rolled down his window.  The driver yelled "What part of Maine are you from?"  We told him.  He yelled "My family is from Gray".  And then he drove off.  Small world.
  • We bought diesel at a Space Age station today.  It was certainly a from another age station.  They pumped the fuel for us.
  • Devil's Churn is a very aptly named spot along the coast.  It could also have been appropriately named Stomach Churn or Knee Wobble.
  • If a particular bend in the road is very, very, very dangerous then there will probably be a guardrail.  If the spot might only kill you if you are careless, then don't be careless.
  • I believe that for the faint of heart the drive along US101 is best done from south to north.  That way you will be on the side of the road that is furthest from the precipice next to the ocean.
  • Along with the tiny, forlorn little towns the path had a fair number of intolerably ugly, sprawling blights on the scenery.  I'm thinking of the part of Ellsworth that you must drive through in order to get to Bar Harbor.  
  • We are staying tonight in our second state park - Bullards Beach.  It is another very nice spot to rest.  There are lots of trees and plenty of space between campsites.
  • Brett finally got to light a campfire tonight.  Every other place we've stayed has had a burn ban due to extremely dry conditions.

I am going to finish by letting the scenery from today speak for itself.

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