Luinil - Traveling with the Blue Star


August 2015 —Rockaway Beach, Oregon
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Copyright © 2015 - 2018 Larrie Easterly

Twin Rocks

Twin Rocks — Photo Gallery

For many years we have spent two weeks during the summer at Rockaway Beach on the Oregon coast. For those of you who are not familiar with Rockaway Beach it is located about a half hour north of Tillamook and south of Nehalem. The beach is sandy and extends for seven miles from the Bar View jetty, the entrance to the Tillamook Bay, north to the Nehalem River jetty. The beach is great for taking long walks. Just be sure to wear a comfortable pair of shoes that you do not mind getting wet as there are several shallow creeks that need to be crossed.

I have always found that being at the beach is incredibly relaxing. Most days were spent in a combination of walking into town to get a paper, reading, getting caught up with my writing, eating, and taking afternoon naps. Naturally there is also time to play with my grandkids either in the apartment or on the beach.

Rockaway Beach is a small community that is split east/west by highway 101. There are a number of small shops and restaurants. We enjoy going to the thrift shops to see what they have that is different that what is in Portland Metro area. There are two candy/ice cream stores that serve Tillamook ice cream. The restaurants in town serve an eclectic variety of of food at modest to hight prices. There is an upscale restaurant, Pirates Cove, with fresh seafood and great views of Tillamook Bay a few miles south on the outskirts of Garibaldi.

A new bakery opened while we were there this year. Naturally we had to stop in and check it out. The blueberry cinnamon rolls were wonderful even though the owner said they were a little over done. I also bought a piece of peach and a piece of backyard blueberry cobbler. The cobblers got shared with everyone as a late night treat after the grandchildren were in bed.

Twin Rocks

Steam Engine Number 2 — Photo Gallery

One of the things that my grandchildren really like is the train that runs between Garibaldi to Rockaway. It is operated by the Oregon Coast Scenic Railway and takes 1-1/2 hours to do the 10 mile round trip. There is time at each stop to do a little shopping and wondering around the two towns. The rail line is old and was used to haul logs to the mill in Garibaldi, Batterson, and Salmonberry. Now days the railway is only used for scenic travel along the Oregon Coast. Two steam engines and a diesel electric engine are use on the line. This year the steam engine, Number 2, on the Rockaway Beach/Garibaldi run was rebuilt and refurbished. The line runs several special trains throughout the year including dinner trains, holiday trains, and lunch excursions along the coast from Garibaldi north to the Salmonberry River.

Most of the times we have been at the beach in the summer there has been a north wind that keeps the temperatures in the 70 degree range. This year was no exception. Some years the north wind blows hard but this year it was moderate and great for kite flying.

Twin Rocks

Ten Foot Delta — Photo Gallery

One of the joys that I am rediscovering in my retirement is kite flying and another is reading for enjoyment. The kites have been gathering dust in the garage for around 25 years. When I was working, raising a family and building a house there was just no time to fly them. When I was packing to come down to the beach this year I got a nudge to bring them along. These are not your normal diamond shaped kite with a tail. The kites are all shapes and sizes from a ten foot delta to a World War II box kite that was used to rescue downed flyers in the Pacific Ocean. There are also several dual line stunt kites that are large enough to sand ski with as well as multicellular kites that just look pretty in the sky. My grandchildren loved seeing them in the air and holding on to the line.

Twin Rocks

Hanger B — Photo Gallery

We took a day and went to the Tillamook Air Museum located at the old Naval Air Station south of the city. The museum is located in a World War II blimp hanger. The hanger was constructed in 1942/43 to house Squadron ZP-33. It consisted of eight K-Class airships that were used for anti-submarine patrols along the coast. The hanger is an incredibly large building covering seven acres. It is 1,072 feet long, 296 feet wide and 192 feet high, think seven football fields. The museum is home to a number of airplanes, trainers, military vehicles, and other items. There is a theater and exhibit hall showing the history of the hanger.

On the way back from the museum we stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory to watch the cheese making process, have lunch and of course ice cream. As usual on a summer day the place was crowded with people. The boys like seeing how cheese is made and of course the food and ice cream. The thing I like about the place is the number of ice cream favors that are available at the factory. Most stores in only carry a limited number of favors. At the factory you can try them all.

Another day we drove north to Hug Point State Recreation Area. After a picnic on the beach Heather, Ann and the boys went exploring while I took a nap. I love sleeping at the beach with the ocean's roar in the background. Hug Point is a day use area with lots of space and several miles of walkable coastline. You can explore several coves, tide pools and rock formation. One of the attractions is a small cave that is no more than a split in the rocks that the boys like to play in. The area got its name when the beach was used as the public highway before the coast highway was built. The name Hug Point came about because travelers had to "hug" the rocks to get around the point so they would not get wet.

Till next time.

Larrie

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