It was hard to leave the central coast of Oregon but time to come back.  I never tire of watching the waves crash around me, so we went up the coast to get back to Portland this time.  One more look at crashing waves, please.DSC_0441 DSC_0418We drove up the coast, leaving Highway 101 to hit the coast drive to Cape Kiwanda…DSC_1330 and Cape Lookout, both with their views and beach warning signs.  Believe me, I wasn’t planning on going off any cliffs.DSC_1337The final Cape was Cape Meares, which was the most delightful of all.   Besides the views…DSC_1344there was the Octopus Tree, a 300 year old Sitka Spruce tree that fits into my memorable trees collection.DSC_1350And the shortest lighthouse, at 38 feet, on the coast.DSC_1363My tour was interesting, giving me insight into the life and work of the lighthouse men of our past.  Not an easy job.  This one had the original glass for the clear sections, beautiful in the sunshine.DSC_1374 DSC_1375We headed back to Highway 101, stopping in Tillamook, where barn quilts decorate buildings all over town.  I wasn’t familiar with this until this summer, so now I’m looking for them when I travel.  Here are a few I saw.DSC_1381 DSC_1382 DSC_1385I can’t go to Oregon without getting Tillamook Ice Cream, the creamiest ever.  Besides they have wonderful flavors like Marionberry Pie and Huckleberry.  Tillamook Cheese is a destination, a farmers’ co-op where you can watch the cheese being made, shop and eat, tasting all the flavors of ice cream, milk and cheese.  I can get the cheese at home, but not the ice cream!  I always have to stop, joining the crowds who share my passion.DSC_1389Our next stop was at one of the amazing beaches in the world, Cannon Beach, home of Haystack Rock.  On this particular day, it was sunny and warm.  People were sunbathing in Oregon in October.  I had to stop at both ends of the beach for the beautiful views of the rock.  Here’s looking from the south to north.  DSC_1390And north to south with the rock shining in the late afternoon sun.  You can’t imagine how big this thing is.  And how big the beach is.  Incredibly beautiful.  And fun.DSC_1399I got a clear shot of Tillamook Lighthouse, perched on its lonely, dangerous rock, from the beach, looking north.DSC_1402Although I could have dawdled all day on the beach, we were trying to reach Astoria by dark, so we headed north.  It was late in the day, but we were able to go to the top of the hill where the Astoria Column, concrete carved with the history of the region, sits.  I was too tired to climb the 168 steps to the top, but the views from below were incredible and the column is an incredible piece of art.DSC_1416Looking towards Astoria, you see the bridge that takes you from Oregon to Washington, and you feel chills thinking of the Lewis & Clark expedition charting these waters.  Looking to the view, where the mighty Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean is breathtaking in its importance.  DSC_1410On the other side of the hill, the Youngs River and the Lewis & Clark River enter Youngs Bay before joining the Columbia.  DSC_1428The charming city of Astoria is the oldest settlement in America west of the Rockies.  I’ll return for more.  I did love the trash cans in Astoria, symbolic of one of the major industries of the area.DSC_1435We headed east to Portland, leaving the coast behind us.  The next day, we went into Portland for the underground tour, which was very little underground, but a lot of colorful history of the wild and wooly days of early Portland.  Very fun.DSC_1440I’ve been to Portland various times in the past five years, enjoying the diversity and casualness of this beautiful city.  We had a wonderful tea and late lunch in one of the few Chinese restaurants left in Chinatown.  DSC_1441DSC_1448I really wanted the Hung Farlow to still be open, but they are saving the sign.  DSC_1443Portland has the signs saying “Keep Portland Weird,” just as Austin has signs that beg us to “Keep Austin Weird.”  I’m thinking “weird” is just a word for being open to everything.  There were more homeless than I remembered from my last visit, but just as many colorful people, trying to be as weird as possible or to fit in however they can.  It’s part of the charm really.   We finished our tour and joined local friends for a fun Thai dinner, watching the sport of Sepak Takraw, a combination of hackey sack and volleyball, on the television.  DSC_1462We’d passed the famous Voodoo doughnut place on our tour, but stopped at the second location on the other side of the river to stock up on the notorious doughnuts.  We HAD to have this Portland experience and included one Voodoo man doughnut in our box for fun.DSC_1458 DSC_1480The next day, our final day in Oregon, we traveled to Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood.  It was a beautiful day, warm even at 6,000 feet, and the views were spectacular.DSC_1485DSC_1492Timberline is an old WPA lodge and everything inside is hand made from local materials, including the furniture, drapes, hand wrought iron, carvings.  The building, used in the opening shots of “The Shining,” is a tribute to the craftsmen and women who worked in the program, not only grateful for jobs during the depression but showing deep pride in their creations.  It was a total delight.  The six-sided fireplace, made of local rocks, runs up through the three stories of the main lobby, with three fireplaces on two levels.DSC_1514I loved the scenes carved in linoleum on the walls of a meeting room.DSC_1504The views of Mt Jefferson and Mt St Helens in the distance were lovely.DSC_1527And the mists over the hills gave us the layers of blue against the clear sky.  DSC_1532The top of Mt Hood was rocky, but they continue to manicure the dusty snow for the skiers we passed coming and going up the mountain.DSC_1519Our Oregon trip ended with meals with friends before we headed back to Oklahoma the next day.  This Okie left with more lovely Oregon memories to fill my senses.  Okie in Oregon.  That’s me.