2019 Sandy & Bill's West Coast Adventure travel blog

Stellar sea lions on rocks outside Sea Lion Caves

Sandy & me at the Sea Lion Caves

Heceta Head Lighthouse

Fresnel lens of the Heceta Head Lighthouse

Heceta Head Lighthouse from afar

Haystack monolithic rocks off Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach sea birds bathing off the beach

Sandy communing with the seashore

Cannon Beach hydrangea

Tillamook Creamery entrance with cow above the doors

Tillamook Creamery with 400 pound blocks of cheese

Modern cheddar making machines - look like washing machines


Today we began our trek up the Oregon coast. We visited the Sea Lion Caves north of Florence, OR. The cave is considered the largest sea cave in the U.S. and has been in operation since 1932 to preserve and protect sea wildlife. Stellar sea lions shelter there during winter storms and raise newborn pups. They also hunt offshore, sometimes diving up to 1,300 feet for food. Pictures show Sandy & me at a statue of a seal and some of the seals resting on rocks. Also included is a short video of the seals.

The Heceta Head Lighthouse is reputed to be one of the most photographed lighthouses. Whether it is or not, it is a very photogenic edifice. Attached are pictures of the lighthouse and its Fresnel lens. There is also a short video of the lens still rotating even though the lighthouse is undergoing some repairs. The lighthouse is 205 feet above the ocean and its “first order” Fresnel lens casts it’s beams some 21 miles out to sea. It is the brightest light on the Oregon coast. For those not familiar with Fresnel lens, Fresnel lenses are divided into different sizes, called orders. The first order lens is the largest and most powerful, and it can be up to 12 feet in height and more than 6 feet in diameter. Such lens are used primarily as a seacoast lights.

We journeyed to Cannon Beach, and it is almost a proverbial bucolic beachside town. We enjoyed walking its quaint streets and viewing its clean, yet well used beach. One of its most prominent features is a monolithic sea rock called Haystack. This stone rests just offshore and is 235 feet tall. If you look closely, you'll see people appearing to be almost specs compared to the rock.

Prior to Cannon Beach, we stopped at the Tillamook Creamery to watch their cheese making process, and of course to sample some of said cheese. You'll see pictures of 400 pound blocks of cheddar cheese being processed into smaller chunks and modern cheddar making machines (that looked like washing machines near the back of the picture).

Tomorrow we go to Astoria, OR to see Lewis & Clark's quarters, the Astoria Column, and the Columbia Maritime Museum. Thanks for reading.

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