Thursday, May 09, 2013

Airplanes and Cheese, Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Continuing our travels north on Highway 101, we left Beverly Beach State Park Campground a little past 9am.  We did leave Highway 101 for several miles north of Lincoln City to take a segment of the  Three Capes Scenic Loop.  This winding road was not as scenic as we thought so we returned to Highway 101 prior to getting to Tillamook.

In Tillamook, we stopped at the Tillamook Air Museum.  Aside from the aircraft that was expected to be on display, the hangar that the museum is housed in was a hangar for K-class blimps  used in World War II for anti-submarine patrol and convoy escort.  This had been the site of the Tillamook Naval Air Station.  There had been 2 of these hangars built – A and B.  The B-hangar was the first one built.  The A-hangar was then built in 27-days but in 1992 that hangar was destroyed in a fire.  These hangars housed 8 K-class blimps which were 252-feet long and contained 425,000 cubic feet of helium.  They had a range of 2000 miles and could stay aloft for 3 days.  The length of the hangar is 1,072 feet, height of 192 feet and width of 296 feet with over 7 acres of area.  The planes that are now in this building include many that are in condition for flying and, in fact, are periodically flown.

After stopping for fuel we continued through the town of Tillamook and made another stop at the northern edge at the Tillamook Cheese Factory.  Self-guided tours allowed us to view this factory’s cheese-making and processing.  Tillamook cheese is the second largest cheese making factory in the US.  In addition to the tours there is a café where we got our lunch today.  Naturally, cheese is sold here along with ice cream, fudge, and souvenirs.  a nice stop and well worth the stop.

Finally after another 20 miles, we arrived at Nehalem Bay State Park where we are staying tonight.  We only traveled 99 miles today but with the stops we didn’t get to the campground until 3:30pm.  After getting into our site and setting up we walked out to the beach.  Our site is beside a path to the beach which is a short strenuous walk across dunes in loose sand.  Once out on the beach the sand is firmly packed making walking a lot easier.  Tomorrow we plan to leave the coast and travel east to the area of the Columbia River Gorge.