the wandering chick
...The Three Capes Scenic Loop

A wonderful thing occurs on the Pacific City beach every day. Most likely the tourists enjoy it more than the locals do. It's called the dory landing. A dory is a snall flat-bottomed boat and daily they make their run out to sea to make their catch of fish or crab. Originally, the dories were more canoe-shaped, and the fishermen used oars to paddle out and back in to shore. Today, they have squared up the back end to make a place for a motor.

The dories leave early in the morning, five-ish, when the water is calm; they return anywhere between 10 and 11 in the morning. You may think, as we did, "How could watching a boat come into shore be that exciting?" But when we saw the first one way out by the Haystack making its way in to shore, the andrenaline magically started to rise within us. Perhaps it's because the dories don't slow down until they hit the shore. The motor is turned off at the very last minute as the dory comes rushing on to the beach. So there it is. We watched three come in in about a half-hour's time. That was enough to satisfy us. Their catch is recorded by a waiting official, and off they go until the next day. The next several pictures are of the dory arrivals.

an easy kind of fun

Because it's truly a loop, the Three Capes Scenic Drive can begin wherever is most convenient. The forty miles include some of the most stunning scenery you'll find anywhere.

My travel friend and I started with Cape Meares. Upon leaving the area, we came to a road closure due to a landslide a year or so back. So, we weren't able to do the complete loop, but we pieced together our route so that we didn't miss anything. We're staying in the area for awhile, so we weren't rushed to do the whole loop in a couple of days.

I couldn't name a favorite if I had to. How can one choose a favorite between lighthouses, beaches and water falls? Oh, yes: and restaurants!

Take your time, take it all in and savor the beauty. Make memories.

Overlooking the water from Cape Meares
Viewpoint from Cape Meares
Overlooking the blue waters from Cape Meares State Park
The Cape Meares Lighthouse
Above and Below: Overlooking the beaches in Oceanside from Cape Meares State Park
The lighthouse at Cape Meares is the shortest lighthouse on the Oregon coast at only 38 feet.
Maxwell Beach from Cape Meares
a walking trail in Cape Meares State Park
Octopus tree
A hiking trail in Cape Meares State Park
The aptly named 'Octopus Tree' in Cape Meares is a sitka spruce and is said to be the largest sitka spruce in Oregon.
a hillside of wildflowers
wildflowers on Maxwell Point
Above and Left: Wildflowers grace the side of Maxwell Point in Oceanside.
the three arch rocks in oceanside
flip flops in the sand
Maxwell Beach in Oceanside and the Three Arch Rocks, a landmark of the area
I don't think this photo needs any explanation!
Maxwell Beach
Maxwell Beach and unnamed rock formations
A tunnel built into Maxwell Point leads through the rock and out to what is called Short Beach by some and Tunnel Beach by others.
sunset over Netarts Bay
Netarts Bay RV Park
Sunset over Netarts Bay
Netarts Bay RV Park is just across the street from the bay. It's a quiet and charming little park off the beaten path,,except, perhaps, for the local clammers and crabbers.
blackberry bush closeup
Munson Creek Falls
We're now in August, and the blackberries are cropping up everywhere.
Munson Creek Falls
the walking trail to the waterfalls

Munson Creek Waterfall is the tallest waterfall along the Oregon coast at more than 300 feet. It's a short walk to the falls along a wonderful path lined with moss-covered sitka spruce and western red cedar.

The falls is located six miles from Tillamook on the 101 going south.

Above and Right: Along the path to Munson Creek Falls
the path to the falls
Old dead tree trunk on the beach at Cape Lookout
The next series of shots was taken at Cape Lookout on the beach as well as on a small nature trail that explains various tree and plant species. I thought the beach eerie because of the light fog that seems to be ever present there.
trees in fog on Lookout beach
a tree formation along the nature trail at Cape Lookout State Park
trees along Lookout beach
The orange-colored growth on this tree wasn't explained in the Cape Lookout's Nature Trail brochure, but I assume it's some sort of mushroom, or algae. Anyone know?
old tree trunk formation
a tree formation along the nature trail at Cape Lookout State Park
a lady and her dog on the beach
A lady and her dog on the beach at Cape Lookout State Park
The Haystack, a rock formation in Pacific City
The landmark of Pacific City is this rock off Cape Kiwanda called The Haystack.
the giant sand dune at Cape Kiwanda, Pacific City
Young and old climb the giant sand dune of Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City.
Cape Kiwanda and the Haystack, Pacific City
Off the three capes along the Three Capes Scenic Drive, this one, Cape Kiwanda is the most southern, in Pacific City.
Cape Kiwanda
Pacific City beach
Above and Right: Cape Kiwanda rock formations
swimmers in the Pacific City water
rock formations of Cape Kiwanda
Walking atop Cape Kiwanda
Swimmers enjoy the Pacific water of Pacific City beach. Right: Looking down on Pacific City beach from the sand dune of Cape Kiwanda
The Haystack
Walking up on Cape Kiwanda is a highlight for many even though the signs ask hikers to stay back from the cliffs.
Tierra del Mar beach
Tierra del Mar beach
A smaller beach between Cape Kiwanda and Cape Lookout is this one, Tierra del Mar. In the direction above, the view is of the always clouded over Cape Lookout. In the picture to the right, you see Cape Kiwanda and the Haystack.
Netarts Bay sunset
Netarts Bay which is the water roughly between Cape Lookout and the small village of Oceanside is one of many ideal places to catch a super sunset.
Netarts Bay sunset
Netarts Bay sunset
Netarts Bay sunset
a dory boat has come onto shore
Netarts Bay sunset
a dory landing
a dory's catch of the day
a dory landing.
a dory arrival
a dory arrival
a dory arrival
The Nestucca River in Pacific City
walking in the grassy dunes
a trail on the Clay Myer State Natural Area
The Nestucca River in Pacific City
This fisherman's catch was dungeness crab (in the white bucket) and red rock crab (in the red bucket).
The grassy dunes above the beach in Pacific City
Above and Below: There is a very easy trail on the Clay Myers State Natural Area on Whalen Island that offers a tranquil stroll through the pines and woodlands and along the coastal estuary.
Clay Myers SNA on Whalen Island
On Bayocean Rd, a view of Tillamook Bay
Cape Lookout Trailhead in the fog
My travel companion and I had planned on walking the Cape Lookout Trail to the end of the cape on the day this picture was taken. We changed our minds once we saw how foggy the top was. The fog, we could have handled, but this particular day was cold and wet. We'll do it before we leave the area.
Overlooking the wetlands of Tillamook Bay at low tide
From Bayocean Road just outside Tillamook on Highway 131 north is a dike on which a nice stroll can be had. The view is of Tillamook Bay with the Neahkahnie Mountain in the background.
Overlooking the Tillamook Bay at low tide from a dike off Bayocean Road, part of the Three Capes Scenic Drive.
driftwood on Cape Meares Beach
driftwood on Cape Meares Beach
We were having a wonderful day, starting out in Pacific City with a delicious breakfast at the Grateful Bread Restaurant, then went over to see the dories come in. Then we took a couple other one- or two-mile hikes. And we were pretty satisfied with the day. But then we decided to see how close we could get to the road closure near Cape Meares. Not very. But we ended up at the Cape Meares beach and both gasped at the beauty. Huge pieces of driftwood strewn about, no people and no wind. We were in heven as we walked the length toward the cliff. It was wonderful to see how the private homes above the dunes each had made a little area for sitting and viewing the water. Many had campfire rings and others just benches or chairs. This beach will go down as one of our favorites. The next too many photos are of the wonderful pieces of wood that had drifted onto shore.
driftwood on Cape Meares Beach
driftwood on Cape Meares Beach
driftwood on Cape Meares Beach
driftwood on Cape Meares Beach
trees in fog on Meares Beach
driftwood on Cape Meares Beach
the water sliding into shore
the rock shoreline near the Cape
driftwood shaped as a whale
Someone with a great sense of humor designed this piece of driftwood. We couldn't decide if it's a whale or an alligator, but decided it didn't matter. It was fun.
The whale driftwood
the Cape end of the beach is rocky
The south end of Cape Meares Beach abrubtly stops at the cape; the north end borders the Bayocean spit, which separates Tillamook Bay from the Pacific.
driftwood on Cape Meares Beach
driftwood on Cape Meares Beach
driftwood on Cape Meares Beach
driftwood on Cape Meares Beach
driftwood on Cape Meares Beach
driftwood on Cape Meares Beach
closeup of the water
driftwood on Cape Meares Beach
driftwood on Cape Meares Beach

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Cape Lookout
This is the first chance we got to see Cape Lookout with a cap of fog. I think it's a rare occasion. This shot was taken at dusk of the same day that we got to take the trail up to the end of the cape. Those pictures follow.
old growth trees on Cape Lookout
Old growth trees surround you on the trail of Cape Lookout.
old growth trees on Cape Lookout
old growth trees on Cape Lookout
old growth trees on Cape Lookout
old growth trees on Cape Lookout
A view of the water throught the trees and fog
There was just a trace of fog covering the trail when we started out, but by the time we got to the end of the cape it had cleared to give us some fanstastic views.
This is a picture of trees growing from a nurse tree, which normally isn't so unusual. However, these particular trees started growing at about 20 feet up in the air. Normally, they're much closer to the ground.
The view from the top of Cape Lookout
The view from the top of Cape Lookout
The view from the top of Cape Lookout
The view from the top of Cape Lookout
The view from the top of Cape Lookout
old growth trees on the Cape Lookout trail
The view from the top of Cape Lookout
The view from the top of Cape Lookout
The view from the top of Cape Lookout
The view from the top of Cape Lookout
The Cape Trail ends here, looking due west. We were fortunate to have a clear sky above and the warmth of the sun beating down on us.
The view from the top of Cape Lookout
The view from the top of Cape Lookout
Looking south from the end of the trail, the Haystack and Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City can barely be seen.
The view from the top of Cape Lookout
This view is looking north toward Netarts Bay. The spit of land shown, which is a part of the Cape Lookout Beach, separates the bay from the Pacific Ocean. In the distance is part of the town Netarts.
A closer view of the Haystack and Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City, south of Cape Lookout.
Looking north, a view of the Three Arch Rocks in Oceanside.
The view from the top of Cape Lookout
Looking north toward Netarts Bay
Looking north toward Netarts Bay
Above and Right: Just north of Cape Lookout on the Three Capes Scenic Route is an overview called Andersons View Point, named in memory of a surveyor of the area. The view is of the spit of land that separates Netarts Bay from the Pacific. The view below shows the spit nicely. In the foreground is the Cape Lookout campground and beach.
Netarts Bay and the Pacific Ocean
blackberries and sand dollars

On a day of a particulary low tide, we were up at 7 am to hunt out sand dollars at Oceanside Beach. We found two - one that the seagulls had partially gotten into, but not broken; and one that was wedged half under a rock in a tide pool. Later in the day, walking around 'the 'neighborhood' we found a pile of spent clam shells and a blackberry patch. It was a fun day.

Netarts Bay sunset
A Netarts Bay sunset
Lexi's 'stuff' shop in Netarts
The town of Netarts lies just south of Oceanside. Its backyard is Netarts Bay and it seems to be off the beaten path except perhaps for the local crabbers and clammers. .There's not much to the little town except for three hotels, a couple of markets and its 800 residents. Oh yes ... and Lexi's Cool Stuff, a shop of this and that, mostly stuff you wonder if anyone would ever buy, many things nautical, coastal-type knick knacks. My big purchase was a stamped bouy that I couldn't resist. She had several hanging out back along side the fishing nets and ships' ropes.
Lexi's Cool Stuff shop
a boat of Nasturtium
A sense of community pride can be seen in Netarts by the boat full of nasturtium planted at the town park just across from the bay.
Netarts Bay at low tide
Netarts Bay at low tide
Netarts Bay at low tide shows a portion of the spit on which lies Cape Lookout Beach. On a closer spit to shore, Steller seal lions (not shown) bask in the sun.
This is the same spit, at a different angle, taken from an overview between Netarts and Oceanside. A small part of the town Netarts can be seen, and Cape Lookout is the backdrop.
Netarts Bay at high tide
A heron searches for dinner in Netarts Bay.
Netarts Bay at high tide. Cape Lookout in the background is in its usual state of 'socked in-ness.
wildflowers along the road along Netarts Bay
a heron sits in Netarts Bay
A local family crabbing in Netarts Bay
driftwood along side Netarts Bay
large piece of driftwood on bank of Netarts Bay
A piece of driftwood on the shore of Netarts Bay caught my EYE...(get it??) It's too depressing to tell you what it looks like to me.
Fog rolls in over Netarts Bay
Layers of fog roll in and out of Netarts Bay as the evening hours approach.