Friday, April 25, 2014

Hiway 101

I was viewing a gallery of photos of the "Most Beautiful Coastal Drives in the United States."  And after reading some of the comments I was driven myself to respond in kind as to my own personal experiences driving the Oregon Coast.  One comment in particular mentioned that there wasn't that much to see from Seaside north.  Well, that has a grain of truth but don't let us forget about Fort Stevens and the Astoria column (and the INCREDIBLE view from there).  However, I would agree that driving SOUTH from Cannon Beach you pass through some of the most gorgeous scenic routes in the U.S.A. Start early from Cannon Beach....Over Mount Neahkanie where you will take MANY pictures,,,,but watch your husband's blew over the edge and I thought I was going to have a heart attack when he and my son went over the rock wall to get it back,,,,but then,,,he was a cedar logger and very used to repelling down into the ravines where all the cedar had been left years before by loggers who then had no use for it (interesting side note).  Coming off the mountain, take a hard right down into Manzanita, stopping at the ONLY local market in town, grab a drink and a snack and go down to the beach and look back up at the mountain you were just taking pictures from; now pop down into Nehalem, stop at the parking lot across the street from the market in that town, where you can go down on the dock and feed the ducks, (decent restroom on the other side of the utilities bldg there btw), then on down through Wheeler, Rockaway and Garibaldi to Tillamook. Take 3rd street east out of Tillamook for maybe 3-4 miles or so, take the right at the fork in the road at the end of all the pastures, driving along the bay (Bayocean Rd), and if you are really adventurous go straight to what I call Road's End where the sign says to turn left to Cape Meares,,,,continue your drive out Meares Ave toward the spit, you'll see 3 or 4 other cards parked there no doubt, and climb over all the rounded stones on the spit where a very few silvery windblown trees stand, and look back north at where you just came from,,,, then back round the Three Capes, being SURE to make another hard right at the top of the hill into Cape Meares Lookout; park there and take a short walk past the restrooms veering to the path on your right to find the "OctopusTree."  If I go, I weep when I get there, so many memories, so many visits. Google it. :o) Swing down into Oceanside, great roadside park for parking, walk the beach to the tunnel to the far right that goes under that big hill, have a bite to eat at the almost 5 star Roseanna's Cafe (see TripAdvisor) and watch the sunset at Oceanside - been going there since my 51 yo son was a pre-teener; round back into Tillamook, checking out Happy Camp Hideaway along the way. Oh if you have TIME,,,,be sure to get and ice cream at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. That should do you for a day trip all right!  And a happy sleep at the end of it. And that's just one day. Hiway 101 is one Hiway that should be driven all the way into California (Bandon-by-the-Sea is WONDERFUL), and then just keep going! And when you can, south of Garberville, find the cutoff to Hiway 1,,,,,down through Bodega Bay, Point Reyes, and stop in at Bolinas, all the way to thru Mt. Tamalpais, to join up with 101 again and then......the Golden Gate. I'm ready. :o)

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