Trip Of A Lifetime II travel blog








We chose Bay Ocean Spit for our bike trip today. The drive north along 101 to Tillamook was about 35 miles and it was a gorgeous way to start the day. Scenic farms and miles of bluffs and small mountains filled the view which contrasted with the gray sky of the morning. The fields were lush green and cows grazed about in all the valley areas. The highway twists and turns and passes through several picturesque little villages. Eclectic little shops and stores comprise the towns along with a group of clapboard houses-many from the early 1900's. It is a step back in time and refreshing to the spirit. Bay Ocean Spit is a giant linear sandbar which acts like a dyke to divide Tillamook Bay from the Pacific. The Pacific is accessible through a channel cut through the sand bar and is lined with rock jetties. When we arrived for our bike trip Tillamook Bay was void of water and appeared as a giant wet sandbox miles and miles in size. Small pools of water remained in a few areas. The sand was dark gray to black and was loaded with clams. In fact as we unloaded our bikes a friendly young man appeared with a bucket of clams. He said he had his limit which was about 20 clams. One has to dig down in the sand maybe 2 feet to reach the clams. It is a muddy undertaking between walking in the muck and digging vigorously. The reward is fantastic clam chowder. He said the tide was extra low this time of year and an excellent time to clam. He said one has to finish in time before the tide returns and traps the clammer from reaching shore-that would be a scary ending! We biked the old gravel road which ran the length of the spit and back. The trip was about 10 miles.The trail was quite rocky and rough in areas and strongly vibrated our bodies and joints. In areas it was soft sand and we had to walk the bikes. We were 3/4's of the way to the end of the spit when Bill's left bike crank arm and pedal fell completely off. We were completely bewildered. The casting had cracked. So Bill had to pedal with one foot and stop to hammer the crank and pedal back on the bike the whole return trip. It was a challenge-that or walk. We did enjoy the gorgeous scenery. Across the bay the village of Garibaldi filled the hillside. On our return the tide had nearly filled the bay with water again and it appeared as a vast lagoon like body of water. An interesting historical incident occurred on this spit in the early 1900's. A man by the name of Thomas Irving Potter thought this spit would be the perfect site for a dream development called Bayocean Park. By 1912 a luxury hotel had been built and luxury homes as well. Many sought to buy and build homes and stores and the area became quite a thriving community. What they ignored was the fact that the Pacific is a wild and raging ocean. By 1920 the ocean started to reclaim the town and houses and structures toppled into the sea as it eroded the land beneath. By the 1930's most of the town was gone. Today there is nothing except a few old bleached and weathered timbers. I guess the public was as gullible then as they are today-history has a way of repeating. We had our lunch at one of our treasured spots-Pirate's Cove. This is a fabulous little restaurant in what amounts to a large wooden shack overlooking the spit and bay we had bicycled upon. The restaurant is cited as one of the best in the highly regarded Coast Magazine and Sunset magazine-magazines with a national following. The decor is shabby but clean. The food is out of this world. We had fresh grilled halibut, oyster stew,and Bill had lightly breaded and fried razorback clams. Bill found a bike shop in Tillamook and we were able to secure repair parts for his bike and make a successful repair.

We also visited the Tillamook Cheese Factory-great cheese and ice cream!

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