Cape Meares Lighthouse

Cape Meares Lighthouse

On our trip up the Oregon Coast, we detoured Highway 101 to explore the Three Capes Scenic Route.We stopped at Cape Kiwanda for a view of the monolith there. A few more miles and we stopped at the Symons overlook for distant views of Oceanside. Back on the road we encountered a doe and two fawns staying in front of on our side of the road for some distance before crossing the highway and disappearing. Oceanside, where one of my brothers was postmaster for two or three years, is an interesting community with homes perched on a steep cliff. This is a great place for hang gliding. We continued up the road to Cape Meares which gained its name from Captain John Meares who charted the coast in 1788. The views of the three rocks at Oceanside – Shag, Finley Rock or Mid Rock, and Storm Rock – add character to the view. The Cape Meares lighthouse, active from 1890-1963, was the shortest lighthouse on the Oregon coast. We were able to tour this unique lighthouse. We also took the short trek from the parking lot to the Octopus Tree. Native Americans used this unusual tree with multiple arms from a common trunk for ceremonial functions. Whether it was a natural occurrence or created by the Native Americans remains unknown to us.

Because the road beyond Cape Meares was closed, we backtracked and took an alternate route to Tillamook. We stopped for lunch at Mo’s near Tolavana State Park. I had never seen the parking lot for the beach so full or the line for Mo’s so long. We were fortunate to get a window table with a view of multiple kites and Haystack Rock. After lunch we toured the street where my mother built three beach houses. Her last home appears well maintained and its style matches the surrounding homes built later. Her first house was almost unrecognizable given the exterior changes and addition. Surprisingly to me, The second home has been replaced with a home that looks older than seven years, the last time I visited  when it was for sale.

Our last stop was in Seaside where parking was difficult because of the hordes of people. We walked on the walkway to the Lewis and Clarke statue. The beach was filled with “Soccer in the Sand.” This two-day small-sided beach soccer tournament had U8-U18, men, women, and adult co-ed teams of five who paid a $395 registration fee. I doubt that I could attract a similar crowd for a team chess tournament, even with a lower entry fee. I didn’t locate the Lewis and Clarke Salt Cairn because new buildings gave the area a completely different look. It was interesting to travel this more familiar section of the Oregon coast. There are many more interesting Oregon State Parks between Newport and Astoria that deserve exploration.

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