Monday, July 30, 2012

The Cape Meares Scenic Drive

Located a bit south of Tillamook is the Cape Meares area which sits on the entrance to Tillamook Bay. This beautiful drive starts on the bay where we saw a number of old pilings and wondered what might have been there in years past. 

Right next to the old pilings picture site, we saw this interesting sign at the former site of Bay Ocean Park, even though we could see no sign of any structure. Bay Ocean Park was a new seaside development started in 1907. A few years later, many lots had been sold, houses built and a thriving summer destination existed. 

Here is an old picture of part of Bay Ocean Park; there was also a large motel and dance hall. Unfortunately, the ground was not stable and by the 1940's most of the structures had fallen into the sea. Today, there is no sign of the town.

 Today, the scenic beauty of the Cape Meares area takes priority with scenes like this. The mountains seem to drop directly into the sea which makes for a dramatic contrast between the land and sea.

We especially liked the archways that the sea has carved into the rocks over time. This ridge of large rock formations extend perhaps a mile out from the coast. 

 This is a beautiful area with the surf doing its best to break apart the rocks. We learned that in different seasons, a large number of whales will be found here, but we could not find any during this visit.

 Here was a real surprise -- as we looked out over the ocean, we suddenly saw these two hawks swirling overhead.

 They put on an amazing aerial display for us as they zoomed next to the cliffs and over the sea. Wow -- wish we could fly like that.

 The Cape Meares lighthouse is the star attraction and well worth the 1/2 mile walk out to the end of the point to see. This is a surprising short lighthouse, made possible because it is at the top of the cape cliff, which is a couple hundred feet high. As a result, the light is visible many miles out to sea.

 We had a great day at the Cape Meares light and scenic drive. This scenery is unlike any other we have seen and is a wonderful experience

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