North Oregon Coast Press Trip: Day 5

31 03 2012

Day 5 started with Breakfast at the Garibaldi House Inn & Suites with some of the best frittatas the North Coast of Oregon has to offer. During breakfast we were treated to a presentation about the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad. Another in a series of pleasant surprises, the OCSR runs between Rockaway Beach and Garibaldi. A historic steam engine locomotive escorts patrons between these two towns, show-casing a beautiful strip of coastline and the northern end of the Tillamook Bay. Unfortunately for me there was no scheduled journey on this morning, but I bit at the “Daddy loves Historic Steam Engines” bait dangling before my face. I mentioned in the Day 4 blog post that Garibaldi and I had some unfinished business to attend to, and this is one of the agenda items.

Next, half of the group made their way to the Garibaldi Museum. There was a brief presentation given about this place over breakfast as well. And while it sounded great, I had bigger fish to fry that morning. I was off to go kayaking in the Tillamook Bay!

Some weeks prior event organizer, Lucy Gibson, sent out an email inquiring whether or not I would be interested in a kayaking trip. “Please respond yea or nay” asked the digital correspondence. To which I replied, “Hell Yea”. This was one of the events I was most looking forward to on this trip, and you can bet your sweet bippy I was in the group headed for the kayaks after breakfast.

We met our guide, Captain Paul Peterson of Kayak Tillamook, at the launching area. Captain Paul was a dead ringer for the guy that plays “The Most Interesting Man in the World” in those Dos Equis commercials. Though perhaps it shouldn’t have, this gave me extra confidence in the whole deal. This was my first time in a real kayak and as it turns out, balancing a kayak isn’t the easiest thing I’ve done. The more you concentrate on balance, the more you tense up and the more you twitch and shake. In a sweet bit of irony, the more you relax and don’t focus on balance, the quieter and more balanced your body becomes. This, however, is an easier concept to grasp than to put into practice.

I eventually mellowed out and our group slowly paddled out into the bay. I took the calculated risk of bringing my camera phone with me on this little voyage; which was viewed as less than wise by a couple of folks on dry land. I figured it was insured and even if my good camera was working I wasn’t going to bring it onto a kayak, so why the heck not? Lucky for me Poseidon was on my side this particular day. The kayak trip was invigorating. We spotted tons of wildlife, I got a couple of sweet POV camera shots, and perhaps most importantly, I never took a dip.

After kayaking we checked out of the Garibaldi Inn and headed into the town of Tillamook to check out the 2nd Street Public Market and have some lunch at the Divine Burger Bistro. We were met by Director of the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce, Justin Aufdermauer, who showed us around the market. The market was populated with local arts, crafts, and foods that typify the area. Not the least of which was the big juicy burger I had at the Bistro.

We then made our way to the outskirts of town to visit the Tillamook Air Museum. As you would likely surmise by the name, the museum is home to numerous historic aircrafts. In fact, over 30 restored machines call the museum home, making it one of the finest collections in the U.S. What really makes the museum a standout, however, is the building that houses it.  The museum sits in a WW2 Blimp Hangar that just so happens to be one of the largest wooden structures in the world. Yep. The wooden marvel of engineering is over 1000 feet in length, nearly 200 feet tall, and was built to house K-class blimps that patrolled the Northwest coast during the war. It truly is awe-inspiring.

It was now time to make our way down to that evening’s destination, the Inn at Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City. We decided to take the scenic route, quite literally, by driving the Three Capes Scenic Loop. Unfortunately on this day the rain had returned with a vengeance. We weren’t able to stop at all the photo ops we would have liked to, but I did manage to run down to the Cape Meares Lighthouse to snap a quick pic.

My room at the Inn at Cape Kiwanda was of course, amazing. It also caused me to start giggling like a school girl at just how lucky I was to be there. For the second time on this trip I had an amazing view of Haystack Rock from my room. I wasn’t aware of it until then, but apparently there are two different Haystack Rocks hanging out on the North Coast of Oregon; the Cannon Beach version and the Pacific City version. Sure, why not? The name so nice they used it twice.

Right across the street from the Inn was the Pelican Pub and Brewery, where we would enjoy a tour of the brewery followed by dinner. Our tour was informative but also tasty as we were given samples of beer straight from the vats. I’m not sure how much was psychological, but I remember being convinced that drinking beer in such a manner was vastly superior to drinking from a bottle or keg, and was really the preferred technique. As if this would be an option open to me after the tour.

We were then ushered out of the brewery and into a large banquet room for more beer samples and dinner. Jeremy Strober of Kiwanda Hospitality joined us for dinner. In addition to being remarkably hospitable, Jeremy was a great story teller. Ordering off the menu, I had a memorable Sea Scallop Linguini. The table also shared a number of appetizers and a large sampling of Pelican Brewery beers. Without a doubt, every dinner we shared on the trip was excellent. This dinner stuck out as perhaps the most festive. It would be our last dinner together and the beer and laughter flowed freely. My cheeks hurt from smiling as I climbed into bed for the evening, and that’s always a welcome soreness. Checkout the next day was at 8am.




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