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Published: September 28th 2018
While on our trip out west earlier this year, my husband and I made a point to stop and visit Tillamook, Oregon then travel on a little southward to Myers Flat, California. We selected the former because we love to go on factory tours and we had heard about the Tillamook Cheese Factory nearby. Though many of the tours that we have gone on since our honeymoon have been brief and short, this one was impressively thorough.
We met at the gift shop as the tour group assembled, where we were invited to sample all different kinds of cheeses created and sold by Tillamook. The white cheddar was one of our favorites, as was the creamy spread served with hot pepper jelly and crackers. Once everyone had arrived, we moved into a small amphitheater, where we learned more about the history of the Tillamook brand, its background and where it is headed in the future. From there, we went into the factory itself. Donning hairnets and walking behind a protective beam, we were able to see the cheese-making process up close and personal from a vantage point up above. We learned about the machines that fuel the process, how they
separate the different kinds of cheeses and the role that each employee played along the assembly line.
The tour concluded with a visit to the on-site Tillamook Creamery! Though most only associate the brand with its famous cheeses, which you can buy in local grocery stores all across the country, the ice cream was our favorite part of the day. It was creamy and tasted just like homemade ice cream should taste. I opted for the “Sweet Centennial” which was vanilla ice cream with brownie batter and chocolate peanut butter truffles. My husband chose the “Peaches and Cream” which consisted of vanilla ice cream with chunks of fresh peaches and extra cream.
From there, we traveled onward into California. We stopped for a few photos at one unmarked, tucked away little bay. It was almost hidden through tall sea grass and secluded. In a way, it reminded me of the private beaches we would stumble upon during our honeymoon in Jamaica, where the coastline would suddenly turn inward to reveal a beautiful pool of clear water that it seemed no one had found just yet, though I’m sure we weren’t the only ones privy to the view. While
there, we would always travel with our full-face snorkel masks in the event that the water was clear and calm enough to explore. You can read more here
on that sport, which is one of our favorite beachside pastimes.
While this water wasn’t particularly snorkel-ready and we were not dressed to go past the shore, we did enjoy soaking up the late-summer sunshine and the calm winds. Right before we crossed into the California border, we stopped for a late afternoon lunch at Mo’s Famous Clam Chowder restaurant. We had received two recommendations from friends and family members to try this place out, and specifically to visit the one on the water. Though the wait was long and the restaurant was crowded, it was more than worth the time it took to get a seat. We ended up sitting at a window directly overlooking the water and enjoyed the best bowl of clam chowder we have ever had.
As the sun was setting, we took a short walk to the charming and bucolic Yaquina Head Lighthouse. Though it was closed to tours and we couldn’t walk up into it, the short path to see the overlook gave us a great
opportunity to watch the sun set over the rocky Oregon coast. Being from the East Coast, we had never seen the mountains and sea juxtaposed like that before, so it was interesting to see the different type of landscape. Earlier in the trip, we had walked all the way up the Astoria Column, which was akin to a local lighthouse, so we had our fair share of aerobic exercise and were fine with just taking in the view from down below.
Finally, as our last name is Myers, we had to finish up the day at Myers Flat, California. It was a little bit of a drive past the California line, but we still had just enough sunlight to take a few shadow pictures and take advantage of a photo in front of the sign that bore our name. We saw signs for the site along the way and we were not exactly sure what to expect, but once we reached the area, we pulled over to explore. It is actually a very small locale in an area of California known as Humboldt County, but the area that we saw was simply a wooded section with towering redwoods and
well-manicured lawns. After we got to our hotel that night and performed further research, we learned that we were actually in the front portion of the Humboldt Redwoods State Park. This was also the place we went back to the next day to visit the infamous Shrine Drive-Through Tree. We wanted to make sure we had plenty of daylight to accomplish this feat!
Later in the trip, we kept on driving southward, eventually reaching our destination at Los Angeles, California. While it was nice to get into the more urban areas of the state, I have to admit that my favorite part of the journey was the beautiful countryside. Stopping at Tillamook Creamery, then finding the secluded beach, visiting the Yaquina Head Lighthouse and ending the day at Myers Flat was the ideal way to kick off the transition from Oregon to California. Both states had something significant and intriguing to offer us and I was grateful for the opportunity to take it all in.
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