I can’t remember how we arrived at the conclusion, but Dave, Eric, and I decided the best way to get me back to Portland for my flight the next day would be driving up the coast. Being landlocked in Wyoming and all, I couldn’t turn down a chance to see the ocean so a plan was set in motion!
We were hoping to make Devil’s Punchbowl for sunset, but we missed it by twenty minutes or so. It was turning into a rainy evening (ah, so this is winter in the Pacific Northwest!), so we made camp in the mountains above the coast, and had some delicious tacos from the failed nachos from the night before. From 7000 feet and snow to rain and ocean in one day!
The next morning more rain and a light coating of ice greeted us on the tent. My flight was delayed, giving us an additional two hours for making our way back to the airport. We chose Otis Cafe for breakfast, and it was AH-MAZE-ING! Massive portions, German potatoes (like a hashbrown version of käsespätzle), and a little thing of cream for the coffee. Oh, and the best toast ever.
Now it was just time for meandering and finding things to explore along the way – tide pools (my first!), Neskowin Ghost Forest, McPhillips Beach to name a few.
Neskowin Ghost Forest sounded pretty snazzy, so we decided to stop. This is the remnants of a Sitka spruce forest that reappeared in the winter of 1997-1998.
The stumps of the Ghost Forest have been estimated at approximately 2000 years old, and when they were alive, the trees are thought to have stood 150-200 feet high. Scientists believe that the forest was ultimately destroyed as a result of an earthquake or tsunami, and the remains eventually buried deep. The event that destroyed the forest also helped to save the stumps by burying the remains, thus being preserved rather than eroding them away over time. The Ghost Forest stumps all still rest in their original soil, deep beneath the sands.https://traveloregon.com/things-to-do/trip-ideas/neskowin-ghost-forest/
We ended up not being able to get too close unless we wanted to cross Slab Creek, but at least we could still see the stumps sticking out of the beach. Proposal Rock is in the same area.
Time to continue down the road and find some beach access where we could drive on the sand!
Heading north, we made a brief stop at the Tillamook Air Museum so I could see the plane “with a face only a mother could love.” I was at first confused at what this could mean, but indeed, that was one unique looking airplane!
Apparently I cannot visit the Oregon coast without a trip to Tillamook Creamery. My friend, Janice, and I had a disappointing trip here back in August 2021, and I wasn’t exactly jumping to go back. However, it was way more pleasant without the crowds, and I was able to get ice cream this time as there was no massive line and enjoy the views over the production floor!
A trip to Tillamook apparently seems to foreshadow the journey back to PDX, as well. Over the hills and through the woods, and we popped back into Portland. Until next time, Oregon!