Photo-Exploration No. 6: Monday by the Sea, or Quest for the Octopus Tree

I get restless when I don’t travel and explore. For example, traveling for a specific reason–like I described in a recent post–or traveling for vacation doesn’t satisfy the urge. I need an adventure. I need to see something new, with no agenda…except maybe to take a ton of pictures. πŸ™‚

So, a couple weeks ago, I decided to visit Tillamook, but after driving out there, I ended up visiting Bayocean and Cape Meares as well.

What’s the lure of Tillamook?

That would be cheese. I love their cheese. You can tour their cheese factory, watch them make it, and try free samples–and I’ve been looking forward to it since I heard that it existed a few months ago.

I didn't take this pic! I took it from the Tillamook Factory website--click for link.

I didn’t take this pic! I was too distracted by the cheese to remember I had a camera. I took it from the Tillamook Factory website–click for link.

It was just as delicious as expected, but the tour only took an hour. That’s including the delicious mint chocolate chip ice cream cone I got at the end. πŸ˜›

So, then, I stopped at the Blue Heron French Cheese company for lunch–a fantastic turkey and brie panini (they’re famous for their brie). This was the view from my table:

I did take this picture, right before my food came.

I did take this picture, right before my food came. I happen to be a fan of misty mountains.

And a bunch of pictures from outside:

Same direction, without the window frame

Same direction, without the window frame

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They also had a petting zoo! With female peacocks, who didn’t look too happy to see me…

I must have been interrupting their nap.

I must have been interrupting their nap.

Then, it wasn’t even 1:30PM, so I looked in my handy Oregon guidebook, and realized that Cape Meares had something called an Octopus Tree and it wasn’t that far away.

So, I set out in search of it, because it’s called an Octopus Tree.Β Why wouldn’t you go see that?

My GPS took me along the scenic route, so I had to stop for pictures.

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If I was better at geography, I could tell you exactly what bay this is, but alas… I am directionally challenged.

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Then I rounded the corner and turned up the hill toward Cape Meares….until I ran into a roadblock.

Btw, I meant a literal "roadblock."

Btw, I meant a literal “roadblock.”

Apparently, when the sign said that the road was closed, they really meant it.

Disappointed, I went back the way I came, and for curiosity’s sake, I turned on this narrow strip of land that went straight out over the water called the Bayocean spit.

Once upon a time, it was a resort town, which looked like this:

Didn't take this pictures either! Click through for link.

Didn’t take this pictures either! Click through for link.

But after some crazy erosion action, the town got deserted, and the last building fell into the sea forty-some years ago. Now it’s Bayocean Peninsula County Park, which looks like this:

I did take this picture. I have another with part of my car in it, but this one's prettier.

I did take this picture. I have another with part of my car in it, but this one’s prettier.

Isn’t that weird?? Now I want to write about a town that gets conquered by the sea.

Anyway, after my misadventure trying to reach the Octopus Tree, I decided to visit the beach:

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This one is cool, because it features a paraglider! I think he jumped off the cliff in the background--NOT recommended.

This one is cool, because it features a paraglider! I think he jumped off the cliff in the background–NOT recommended.

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Then, on the way back to the highway, I saw another turn off for Cape Meares and the Octopus Tree. It also mentioned that the road was closed, but I decided to go for it anyway.

And guess what?

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Actually, this is just the other side of the roadblock. But I saw this before I noticed the driveway to the parking lot right beside it, and at first, I thought, Noooooooo.Β 

But it’s all good. I made it. πŸ™‚

I checked out the lighthouse first. You walked down this hill to reach it.

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You can kind of see the lighthouse between the trees. It’s not v. tall, because sitting on top of a cliff, it doesn’t need to be.

When I got down there, the view was awesome:

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Nehalem-20130506-00456


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Then, I turned and hiked back up the trail toward the Octopus Tree–through woods…

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….and views…

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…and then there it was:

The Octopus Tree

The Octopus Tree

The Bottom of the Octopus Tree.

The Bottom of the Octopus Tree.

These pictures don’t really show you the scale of the tree, but itΒ was massive. The bottom part–shown above–was about as thick around as an Orca whale. There’s no scientific explanation for why the tree grew like that. People are pretty sure that the Native Americans trained to the tree to grow in this shape, but it’s over 250 years old. So, that definitely took some doing.

Then, I just sat for a while, watching the waves. It was one of those days where the journey and the adventure wereΒ way more fun than reaching the destination…mainly because I didn’t want it to end.

Okay, one last picture, and then I’m done, I promise!

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32 Comments

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