Exploring Oregon

We’ve lived in Oregon for almost ten months now and we really haven’t taken advantage of the amazing outdoor experiences and destinations that we never really had in Minnesota. Mountains, valleys, oceans, and no snow1!

But in these 10 months, I’ve driven to the ocean twice – once in the pouring rain showing our friend the sights and going to wine country – and once to see a bunch of smelly, belligerent drunks on another drizzly day.

We’ve done a little urban exploring and a walk through Tualatin Hills Nature Park (which is smack in the middle of the city and a short MAX ride away) as well, but for the most part, we haven’t done any exploring of this beautiful state.

This past Sunday, I finally had enough. Why did we move here if we weren’t going to enjoy all the things we love – being outdoors, seeing nature in its glory, disconnecting from technology – so I decided we were going to go somewhere. I found a lighthouse that was only a hour and a half drive away (and would take us past the Tillamook cheese factory…mmm). Do a bit of exploring, see the ocean, and have a good time in the outdoors.

Since I’m an adventurer at heart, I got the general idea of where we were going and relied upon road signs to get us to our final destination. It’s a pretty straightforward drive from our house to Tillamook and the lighthouse was only 10 miles further west.

Instead of taking the main road, we followed the signs which took us on some beautiful back roads that went past dairy farms and had smooth, winding roads that had little to no traffic.

We got to a point where the road forked off to the right, but we ended up staying left and ended up at Cape Lookout state park instead. I had read there were some great hiking in that area and since we were prepared for some hiking, we decided on the spur of the moment to change our plan.

We were glad we did!

We ended up hiking Cape Lookout’s south hike, which wound it’s way through the forest and down 850 feet over 1.8 miles to get to the ocean. Here are some photos from the hike and from when we finally got to the ocean. There are also photos of slugs because my crazy husband is fascinated with them. They’re animated boogers as far as I’m concerned.

Next time we go back, I want to take the north hike – which is nearly a 10 mile round trip, so we’d have to leave the house earlier in the morning. But the views afforded on that hike also look amazing. I can’t wait! 😀

We ended our adventure by eating some ice cream at the Tillamook factory and getting a bunch of cheese to take home with us. Mmm…cheese.

Where’s your next adventure going to take you? Ours will be right outside our door.

1 Yes, yes, I know it will snow in Oregon on occasion, even in the area that we live. But it’s not never ending, 5.5 foot snow drifts that linger from November to May. Plus, it doesn’t get below zero.