Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Portland Day 4: Three Capes = Two Capes Capers

Two rocks at Cape Meares.
You know you've had a great day when you start out looking to see Three Capes Coastal Tour on the Oregon Coast and end up with just two---and not because of flat tires or family emergencies. Just because you were having too much fun along the way.

We had to bid goodbye to our apartment in Irvington today and we want to endorse once again Carolyn Younger's lovely place that is much better than any hotel room and $115/night. Seriously. It appeals to the cheapie bargain Betty side of me that my momma instilled and doesn't offend the "it pays to go first class" side of Paul imparted by someone---not sure if it was his dad or his mom, but these folks knew how to live it up in style! A great blend of both and a wonderful place to stay and practicality of pricing and within walking distance of anything you could ever need and then some.

This coastal drive with plenty of good walks along it is one picturesque turn after the next!

Oregon coastal rainforest

Cape Meares lighthouse

Cape Meares

Paul watching the waves crash and feeling his "blood pressure going down"

Breakers crashing

The octopus tree

Our initial goal today was to get to Garibaldi, Oregon, a quiet seaside fishing village,  by lunchtime. Paul had visited a number of years ago, but missed the boats coming in with the fresh catch, so this item took priority. 

The drive down to Garibaldi is through the Tillamook Forest. This was a beautiful mix of conifers and deciduous trees over slopes and hillsides. We wished we had more time to stop and explore but maybe next trip.

The harbor at Garibaldi

Welcome wagon, Garibaldi style

Big G is Garibaldi on the hillside

Paul admires the fisherman's town and stands with local denizen on the docks

A view out to sea from Garibaldi

Black, white and shades of grey

If you are gonna  catch the crabs, this is the only way to go

Theoretically the best fish and chips in Garibaldi
 We ended up reaching Garibaldi in time for the noon meal. It was a little hard to choose which tiny restaurant to try the fresh catch in but we chose this one predominantly for convenience. We read Trip Advisor and such and this place had about as good a rating as anywhere. Most of the complaints were that the food was "fried." Paul and I discussed this and we both agreed that until we were teenagers, we were not aware that there was any other way to eat seafood. And we both had boiled shrimp as our very first NOT fried seafood. Anyway, fried was A okay for once.

Fish, shrimp and "chips" Pretty tasty.

The interior of the establishment 
The only stop in the forest we had time for was a pit stop :(

From Garibaldi, it was a hop, skip and a jump to the Tillamook Cheese Factory which has a self guided free tour. It was pretty fascinating to watch the mechanical engineering behind making cheese on a large scale like these folks do. There are more cows than people in Tillamook and probably more tourist than either of the above on a nice fall Sunday. But it was still informative. I learned A LOT, including that it takes 10 gallons of milk to make one pound of cheese!

Forty pound blocks of cheese headed off for wrapping and aging.

In addition to cheese, the Tillamook factory also has ice cream and I had to indulge. It's Tillamook!
Lotsa cheese, lotsa folks

The sky above Tillamook

the great flavors of marionberry, huckleberry and mountain blackberry. I think this cup held a quart!

Paul samples the wares.

From the Tillamook factory, the path out to the Three Capes is pretty close and easy to follow. The first stop was Cape Meares seen in the initial photos. This cape was really stunning and you viewed most of it from the bluffs. The octopus tree was really a fascinating short hike to an eight trunked tree. It is not known if this was natural or if some human influence got it where it is today, but it's definitely worth the walk to take a gander.

We spent about 45 minutes here just admiring our surroundings. Then we were down the road a ways to see Cape Lookout.

The beach between Cape Meares and Cape Lookout


The locals

A guide to our hike at Cape Lookout. Two and half miles through forests and across bluffs to the end of the continent.
We really wanted to do the 6 mile roundtrip hike here, because it goes out a long peninsula pictured in the map above and out to the tip of it is the end of the world... as we know it. We thought it would be pretty stunning and this is what we saw:

South Beach of Cape Lookout. So much nicer than the Miami type.

A forest full of ferns and

Tall coastal rain forest. It really dwarfs the hubby

Nearing the end of the peninsula close to sunset.

We really got the feeling of being on the very tip of a continent which we were when we saw nothing but ocean ahead

Happy campers. We made it to land's end and saw a beautiful sea.
We really enjoyed the hike there and would recommend it to anyone. There are two others, South Beach and North Beach, but we didn't quite have time for them. In fact, it was getting dark, so we headed back to Portland and skipped the third cape. NEXT TIME, we hope.

We found our new accommodations at the PDX eco cottage. This is small cottage built in the Ladd's addition, a planned community of Portland shaped in an X and built about 100 years ago. It was somewhat modeled after a section of Washington DC. Although only about 800 sq ft, it has everything we need and is very comfortable and stylish.

Kitchen and dining room

Living room

Powder room 

Le Boudour
We got here just in time to change clothes and go out to eat at Little Bird in downtown Portland, another of our favorite haunts.

The meal was fantastic as always in this small space. It is a sister restaurant to Le Pigeon on the other side of the river.
Cocktails a la Little Bird

Cheese tray

Leek and guyere crepes with mushroom salad

Chocolate tart.
The bird may be little, but the meal was a big tasting treat. We highly recommend this place to anyone travelling to Portland.

The bar and kitchen of Little Bird. We love the shelving for all the different liquors!
Another amazing day in the Pacific Northwest. We had beautiful scenery, wonderful food and some views that won't be forgotten.

Crashing waves

One happy canine
Paul's Ponderings:  What a great day out in the Portland area....the coast, a great hike, a great meal at night, and more.   This is what makes this area particularly special, given the access to the coast, the many amenities in Portland, good weather, and more.   The guidebook said that Cape Lookout showed why you were "at the end of the continent" and it was really obvious to us.  

While I'd rate Le Pigeon from the night before above Little Bird for dining, it was still pretty darn good.   The eco-cottage we are staying in is in Ladd's Addition, a planned development in Portland from over 100 years ago, that was based on some of the L'Enfant plans from Washington DC.   When I looked at the layout, which resembles a giant "X", it struck me as familiar and now I know why.  Neither of us has spent much time in this neighborhood, so it's a new area for us and so far, very nice.   They have recently run the train out here via the orange line all the way to Milwaukie, so that makes it even more attractive.   More reasons to love Portland!

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