Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tourist day today....went into Tillamook for some cheese and ice cream..! Took the Three Capes scenic drive to Netarts Bay. Stopped by Cape Meares Lighthouse and hiked their trails. Very pleasant day, not much sun but no rain and the humidity wasn't too bad. After dinner we walked the pier and watched the crabs and fish interact with the seagulls. Josh wants to see the air museum just south of Tillamook, so we put that on our "to do" list. An all around relaxing day.....

 Josh and I started the day with a long walk around the harbor and bay. We heard the steam whistle and decided to head towards the tracks. The train had just left the station and was headed north as we came upon the tracks. So, I snapped a couple quick pictures.

This is the remnants of an old lumber mill that operated in the City of Garibaldi in the early 1920s. The Hammond mill started in 1924 and the smokestack was added in 1928. The Great Depression caused the mill to close in 1935. Today, only the smokestack remains. Smokestacks were built, by the way, to keep the smoke from the mill from suffocating the town's populace.

Cape Meares Lighthouse...Built in 1889 and began duty in 1890. It is the smallest lighthouse on the Oregon coast and was built with bricks made right on site. The Fresnel lens was shipped around Cape Horn and hoisted onto the lighthouse by a wooden crane also built on site with local timber. The original oil lamp was replaced in 1910 with an oil vapor lamp, similar to the Coleman lanterns. In 1934 the lamp was converted to electricity.

This is a Sitka spruce tree located near the Cape Meares lighthouse. It is believed this tree was created by early indian tribes and used as a ceremonial tree. To create such a tree it's branches were held horizontally while still supple. Once the desired shape of the tree materialized, it's branches were allowed to grow vertically. This was a common practice of many of the coastal indian tribes. Each branch of this tree extends almost 16' horizontally from the base and over 100' vertically. It is estimated at over 250 years old. It has been featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not and has been described as one of the modern Wonders of the World. It is believed to be where Tillamook tribes held sacred rites, Shamans performed ceremonies and elders made important decisions.

All along the Oregon coast you will find little surprises. Here, we stopped at a wide spot in the road to snap a quick photo of the Oregon coastline with the waves breaking on the shore.

Here is a shot of Netarts Bay, which is an Estuary. An estuary is simply a partially enclosed coastal body of water with one or more fresh water streams that feed into it, and has an open access to the open sea. This combination of fresh and sea water provide high levels of nutrients and make them among the most productive habitats in the world.

If you looked at the earlier picture of our campsite, looking out the front window of our coach, you saw a pier going across to the building at the center. This is that pier. It is 3' wide and about 500' long with "turnouts" placed every 80' or so. These turnouts are used for fishing and crabbing. Garibaldi is known for it's crabbing and clamming. We might try some crabbing later this week, but I have to convince Debi to cook them if we are successful....

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