Wednesday 5 July 2006, 12:26 am
Tuesday, July 4
If the town of Tillamook
sounds familiar, think cheese. Yes, this
is where they make our favorite cheese. (You can get a great price
on it at Costco.) Somehow we both thought Tillamook was made in
Wisconsin. Not so.
But I get ahead of myself. After a very late morning breakfast at
the hotel, we sat in the hotel lobby and fired up Yahoo Messenger.
At about 1:30 pm, we were able to connect with Matthew. Our son is
serving with the Marines in Iraq, and his unit just recently got access
to this chat software. We have not really "talked" with him in this
way for several months; he has been in Iraq since March, but our only
communication with him has been the infrequent email message. We're
really jazzed that we'll be able to "talk" to him a couple of times
a week, just as we were able to during his first deployment.
After they put Matthew back to work and we had to sign off, we were
able to visit the Tillamook Creamery "factory" just north of town.
I did not know that they make butter, milk, and ice cream in addition
to cheese. The factory was mostly not working because their production
was ahead of schedule and today was a holiday. But there were short
videos that showed the normal daily activities of all the inactive
equipment we could see below us. The "factory" is mostly really a
gift shop, where you can buy ice cream, cheese, and fudge. I tried
the wonderful huckleberry ice cream, and we bought a little fudge
for the road, but we haven't tried it yet because Mary is starting
to feel lousy again.
We headed down the Oregon coast, which we've never travelled before.
In the past, we've driven the length of Highway 5 through the
Willamette Valley, the length of Highway 97 through the edge of the
desert, and some of the eastern area around Lakeview. But the coast
is by far the loveliest drive we've ever experienced here. Lincoln
City is the cutest town, and some of the larger towns have a bit of
a rough edge to them. But the road is relatively straight and fun
to drive, and the road crosses up and down from mountain forests to
the beach and back up again. There are several "historic" bridges
and at least one lighthouse that we've seen so far.
We made it only as far as Coos Bay by nightfall; we had hoped to
make it all the way down to Crescent City in California, but at a
fruit stand I heard about a fireworks show to be held over the
water in Coos Bay at 10 pm, so we decided to stay here tonight, see
the fireworks, and let Mary get a good night's sleep, since her
cold seems to be coming back again.
We are a good ten to twelve hours from home, and while we hope to
make it home by tomorrow night (exactly three months on the road),
we also want to take it easy. Today was very relaxing and we want
to arrive home in that condition, not frazzled. So I'm hoping we
might make it as far as Mendocino, where we spent part of our
honeymoon seven years ago. Then we would arrive home on Thursday.