Sunday, February 23, 2020

Kilchis River County Campground & Cape Meares (OR)

After leaving Tillamook Creamery, we stopped at a Safeway for food; and using Google, Margaret located a campground just a few minutes away in Tillamook.

We arrived at Kilchis River County Campground on 04 September 2019 as it was getting dark. The camp host placed us in a site near the entrance and restrooms that backed up to a view of the Kilchis River. The site was level, so no need for levelers...YAY! The campground had only a few other well-spaced campers, potable water, those nice restrooms, a playground, trash, and recycling. Alas, as usual, there was no cell phone signal. (As nice as this county campground was, it was also a whopping $33 for just one night.)

We set up the Roadtrek in camping mode, put the groceries away, and made dinner. After a busy day of sightseeing and shopping, we were both ready for rest and reading time.

The Roadtrek at Kilchis River County Campground. Photo by Margaret.

The next morning, I had breakfast outside under the trees while being serenaded by beautiful river sounds. Afterwards I walked around the beautiful campground.

Kilchis River County Campground. Photo by Virginia.

Kilchis River. Photo by Virginia.

It was a very short walk to the river, where I was alone to quietly enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. (Margaret walked down a little later.)

Kilchis River. Photo by Margaret.

I filled our freshwater tank and drinking water bottles and dumped the trash. After getting the Roadtrek in driving mode, we left the campground at 10:00 a.m. and drove the half hour to the gorgeous coastal headland area of Cape Meares, which is breathtakingly located over 200 feet above the Pacific Ocean and on the south end of Tillamook Bay.

Cape Meares Information Kiosk. Photo by Margaret.

The weather on 05 September was a gorgeous and sunny 68°F, with a stunning variety of clouds. Margaret and I often explore separately and then join up at different times. This day was no exception. Since leashed dogs were allowed on the trails, Peaches accompanied Margaret.

Cape Meares - view to the northwest. Photo by Virginia.

Although the small parking area was rather full of vehicles, the trails were not crowded; and I was often peacefully alone when I stopped to gaze at all the beauty.

An interpretive sign at Cape Meares. Photo by Virginia.

Since Cape Meares is a headland, there were water views on three sides. Beautiful!

 Cape Meares - view to the northwest. Photo by Margaret.

It was a slightly downhill walk on shaded trails to the inactive Cape Meares Lighthouse. You can read about the interesting history and tragic account of the vandalism of the lighthouse on its Wikipedia page.

The sign to the Cape Meares Lighthouse. Photo by Virginia.

From the Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint Website: "The lighthouse was built in 1889 and commissioned on January 1, 1890. The tower stands 38 feet high and is the shortest lighthouse in Oregon. It is constructed of bricks covered with iron plates. The original addition that now houses the interpretive shop was a work room built in 1895.  The current interpretive shop replaced the original work room in 1978.

The lens is a first order Fresnel lens made in Paris, France. It was shipped around Cape Horn, up the west coast to Cape Meares and then hauled 217 feet up the cliff by a wooden crane that was built from local timbers native to the area. It is an eight-sided lens with four primary lenses and four bull's-eye lenses with red panels covering the bull's-eye lenses. It produced about 30 seconds of fixed white light from the primary lens followed by a red flash of five seconds from the bull's-eye lens once every minute. This was the signature of Cape Meares Lighthouse. The primary lens produced 18,000 candlepower and the bull's-eye lens produced 160,000 candlepower. The light could be seen for 21 nautical miles at sea."

The Cape Meares Light. Photo by Margaret.

The Cape Meares Lighthouse. Photo by Margaret.

The view southwest of the Cape Meares Lighthouse. Photo by Margaret.

The view southwest to the Oceanside State Recreation Site. Photo by Virginia.

The view southwest to the Oceanside State Recreation Site. Photo by Virginia.

Interpretive sign for the Octopus Tree. Photo by Margaret.

The Octopus Tree. Photo by Margaret.

The trail to and from the Octopus Tree. Photo by Margaret.

Peaches on the trail leaving the Octopus Tree. Photo by Virginia.

We weren't at Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint for very long, but it's a location whose uniquely stunning beauty moved me to declare it one of my favorites of our entire five-month trip. I would love to visit it again and share it with my daughter.

We left Cape Meares after about an hour-and-a-half, driving inland to an Oregon State Park known for its numerous waterfalls.

NOTE: Clicking on the photos in the post will open them in a larger view (recommended!). If you want to see more photos of the beautiful places we've shared, we have them in this Flickr Collection: Over the Hill Sisters Photo Collection.

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