A Two-Day Adventure

image_mapA few weeks ago I was trying to think of what to get Lyle for his birthday. Anything he really needs or wants (that I could afford) he usually buys for himself. He’s been working way too hard lately, so I thought of a weekend getaway instead of a gift. First, I was trying to think of somewhere nearby… I mean, we do live in a resort area, so it wouldn’t be hard to find a cozy little bed-and-breakfast or something. But no, he would actually rather drive to relax, than sit around doing nothing. So I started thinking further afield. How far could we go in one day, and then turn around and come home the next day? Well, the coast, of course!

I planned a route in my mind to head down to the Columbia River Gorge, over to Portland, and then visit the Tillamook Cheese Factory. I picked out a cute little coastal motel for the night, and then decided to let him plan an alternate route home.

Before I made reservations, I thought I better check with him to make sure he would enjoy it. His immediate response: “Sounds good to me!”

Shortly after that he sent me the above map. So that was our itinerary for this weekend.

Lyle and I had a wonderful time, and we packed a whole lotta sight-seeing into those two days.


The weather was glorious. When we got up early Saturday morning Lyle told me there was a weather advisory for Tillamook (our destination that day). I immediately thought of a tsunami or something catastrophic like that. “It’s a Heat Advisory,” he said, “s’posed to get up to the high 80s or low 90s.” I thought he was kidding. Seriously? Even if it’s unusual to be that warm on the coast why does that warrant a Heat Advisory?

Sure enough, it was that warm when we got there about 4:00. We were a little concerned because our room didn’t seem to have air conditioning. After a half hour or so we stepped outside to head to the beach, and the temperature had dropped about 15 degrees! It was breezy and cool on the beach. I wore my sweater, and Lyle was kinda glad we had bought a hoody at the cheese factory earlier, because he hadn’t taken a jacket along.

Coffee break
Coffee break in Ritzville, Washington.
Columbia River
Columbia River with Mount Hood in the distance (if you squint just right).
Mount Hood. It's a beautiful day for driving.
Mount Hood. It’s a beautiful day for driving.

Multnomah Falls. What? You were expecting a picture? Well, so was I! Sadly, the parking lot was full, with cars lined up waiting for someone else to leave. So we went on down the road. It’s all part of the adventure.

Tillamook State Forest
Tillamook State Forest
Tillamook Cheese Factory
Tillamook Cheese Factory. They have ice cream, too!
Hydrangea Ranch
Hydrangea Ranch
Oregon Coast Sunset
Oregon Coast Sunset. The end of a perfect day.


On Sunday afternoon we stopped for a short hike in Mount Rainier National Park. It was a crystal clear day with a fantastic view of the Mountain. Other times we’ve been there the Mountain has been clouded in. It was plenty warm, too. There was still a good bit of snow on the ground (yes, in August!) but it was melting fast.

Garabaldi, Oregon
Foggy morning. The harbor view from our motel room. Garabaldi, Oregon.
Oregon Coast
Not much visibility along the coast this morning.
Mount Adams
Mount Adams. Another beautiful day for driving.
Picnic lunch
Picnic lunch. Tillamook cheese, crackers, smoked salmon. Mmmm…
Mount Rainier
Short hike in the Mount Rainier National Park. Still snow on the ground.

In addition to snapping photos I kept a tally list in a little notebook as we went along. It’s important to count random things, you know. I’m not sure why… but it is. I guess. Anyway, it’s kinda fun. Here are my weekend tallies:

  • Miles traveled — 1,012
  • Major mountains visible on our route — 3
  • Detours — 2
  • Tunnels — 3
  • Scenic overlooks stopped at — 4
  • Hikes — 2
  • Campgrounds driven through — 7
  • People cavorting in the rivers and streams — 46 bajillion (suprisingly, the ocean beach wasn’t terribly crowded when we were there)
  • Episodes of Car Talk listened to via podcast — 3
  • Episodes of Unshackled listened to via podcast — 1
  • Sermons listened to on CD — 2
  • Vehicles in Army convoy we passed — 14
  • Deer seen on road — 3 live, 1 dead
  • Ford trucks with mirrors like Lyle wants — 5
  • Washcloths crocheted — 10

One Comment

  • Keetha Broyles

    Looks like quite a trip!

    My phone is a dinosaur that can't even take a picture, but I've learned to make pretty good posts using my Galaxy Tablet. The only thing I can't seem to learn to do is copy and paste.

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