Saturday (June 12): My time in Newport came to an end and I left around noon for another couple of hours on Highway 101 traveling north. I didn’t get too far before I came to my first side trip.
About ten miles north of Newport is the turnoff for the Yaquina Point lighthouse. It’s a short drive to a large parking lot (thankfully!) near a visitors center. The lighthouse is a quarter-mile walk from the parking lot. It was a sunny afternoon and the walkways and lighthouse viewing area were well attended by others enjoying the pleasant Saturday.
After taking my standard battery of lighthouse photos, I spent some time looking at the wildlife in the area, specifically a large rock located a couple hundred feet from a viewing area. The upper part of this rock was covered with various birds. I took a few photos of the vast numbers of birds when I noticed some commotion near the rock. A bald eagle had begun scouting the area and several seagulls began harassing the eagle to encourage it to move along. The bald eagle ignored the seagulls, made a couple of passes over the rock, then approached more closely but it didn’t seem to score a meal. In a matter of two minutes, the eagle flew away.
I was furiously changing settings on my camera in an attempt to get a decent photo of this bald eagle in flight. I was able to get one clear shot of it, out of a few dozen attempts. With my camera fully ready, I waited a while to see if the eagle would make another attempt; eventually I walked back to my car and continued on the road.
I remembered the weather forecasts for my destination indicated rain would be coming in during the late afternoon, so I didn’t want to delay my arrival too much. My usual preference is to set up before rain begins, and then enjoy it from the dry interior of my trailer.
The drive through the Tillamook countryside was beautiful, with lush green hills and open spaces. Since this is the home of Tillamook cheese, I assume the open spaces represent cattle grazing areas.
I reached the campground at 4:00 pm and set up my trailer. I’m staying about ten miles north of the city of Tillamook at the Barview Jetty County Park campground, which is very close to the beach. The campground is popular with families; a new large playground is the centerpiece of Kid Heaven here. The RV pull-through spaces have full hookups for a modest price of $38 per night.
Even with the imminent threat of rain, I didn’t resist the urge to check out the beach. A short walk of 200 yards led me to the small dunes and beach. The sky was gray with a heavy fog/mist along the shore. More kids were playing on the sandy natural playground. I only had time for a SWOTB (short walk…) before the raindrops made their appearance. I upped my pace and returned to my trailer for dinner. By 6:00 pm the rain became much steadier and heavier. The forecast says the rain will continue until Monday morning, about the time I’ll leave.
Tomorrow I plan to visit the nearby Tillamook Air Museum, located in an enormous wooden hangar designed to house a blimp. It promises to be a great indoor museum and I hope it also promises to be dry!
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