Lands’ End

I knew beforehand that my last stop in my Oregon Lighthouse Exploration was going to be anticlimactic.  I could barely see it, let alone feel it.   At over a mile off shore, the best I could hope for was a few grainy, distant photos.   No way to come close, let alone have the intimate experiences I had had with the other six lighthouses now in my rearview mirror.  For this reason, if I were scripting a tour, I think I would reverse the order and go north to south.  But I didn’t have that luxury with my summer migration.DSC_0223 DSC_0247

Nevertheless, what it lacks in proximity, Tillamook Rock, or “Terrible Tilly” more than makes up for in history.   From the initial stories of the construction workers being cut off from supplies by a 12 day storm, to a later bizarre turn when a couple of enterprising Real Estate Developers tried turning it into the “Eternity at Sea Columbarium,”  a place for interment of ashes, Terrible Tilly has quite a past.  If you want to read more about its macabre history, you can do so here.

Tillamook Lighthouse from Ecola State Park

Tillamook Lighthouse from Ecola State Park

The closest one can get to Terrible Tilly short of renting a helicopter (I won’t admit to considering asking Seaside Helicopters for a quote) is the overlook at Ecola State Park.  A beautiful little day use park, the road and hiking trail both go from enchanted forest to beachside bliss in just under two miles.  I stood on shoreline, looking longingly, as if I were waiting for something to change.  It never did.  I must have taken 25 photos that all look the same.  Distant landscape.  Distant portrait.  Blurry, gray, grainy, desolate, isolated, cold, alone…unreachable.   “You win…”

A blown-up, blurry attempt...

A blown-up, blurry attempt…

As I continued my drive north along Highway 101, I found the atmosphere of the towns to vary more so than the quaint fishing villages down south.   For example, Cannon Beach had a higher end luxury enclave feel to it, while nearby Seaside had such a different vibe.  A little like its “sister city,” Seaside along the Jersey Shore.

Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach.  (Note person in lower left for perspective of 235 ft rock.)

Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach. (Note person in lower left for perspective of 235 ft rock.)


Seaside Schtick….not my thing.

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Lewis and Clark

Lewis and Clark

Crab Louis from Norma's

Crab Louis from Norma’s

DSC_0221I finished out my Oregon coastal crawl with a stay at Fort Stevens State Park, at the far northwest reaches of the state.


Staring out across the mighty Columbia River, I realized as I stood at land’s end along the beach watching the 15 second flash from Cape Disappointment Light on the Washington coast, my anticlimactic ending to my month-long lighthouse exploration only left me wanting for more…

13 thoughts on “Lands’ End

  1. Your pictures of the coast look like paintings, they make the food look delicious and the kitty darling. What a photographer you are. Can’t wait to get to Oregon and see what you saw. But alas, next year maybe.

  2. Terrible Tilly is both exciting and anti-climatic at the same time. I so get it. Love it’s crazy history…wish I could get closer. You’ll be happy to know we got another lighthouse fix today. Grays Harbor, WA…probably the most beautiful and well-preserved lens room I’ve seen (apart from Umqua). Soooo worth it (and yes, I am trying to lure you north hehe).


  3. I never realized how large Haystack Rock is until you provided some scale. How wretched to put one of those inflated Funball eyesores in such a majestic spot. There should be a law.

    I see why you recommend Ft. Stevens for some beach strolling.

  4. That’s the beauty of living on a large continent ,you have such diverse landscapes ,climates and scenery. I follow a few RV blogs and enjoy the photos from the different areas, but this area you have just been to is one of my favourites with its wonderful coastal scenery and the small interesting towns. That crab meal looks mouth watering, and a glass or two to go with it as well. I can’t fault it. Looking forward to more of your travels. Thanks.

  5. I’m still reading … 😉 just looking at your pictures and remembering it well. The Oregon coastline is gorgeous… as is Washington’s. Well, as is California’s.. lol

    oh, sigh! beautiful

  6. We saw Tilly the Terrible yesterday morning and wandered around Fort Stevens and the shipwreck the rest of the afternoon. We’re staying across the street at a funky marina and rv park where we’re hunkering down for the 4th. We will head north once again on Sunday. Love this area.

  7. Me thinks you are falling in love…
    In is peak season. Revel in the West Coast’s handsomeness, but keep an eye on the calendar.
    Lovely photos, they yank my chain you know.
    Box Canyon Mark

  8. Ecola used to have a campground on each side of the road. The beachside offered carts to haul your stuff down near the beach. In my early days, the late 60’s with my Dodge Vans, just a bed,dresser and a cooler, I’d stay at the east roadside campsites.
    It is definitely worth the trek down to the beach for anyone who hasn’t visited before.

  9. Cannon Beach is one of our favorite spots. Before the RV ( and when we lived in Vancouver , Canada ) we used to rent a room on the ocean for 7 – 10 days at a time and just enjoy the ocean as well as the rest of the area. It was an annual trip. The tidal pools are so much fun. I loved the puffins. We did travel there a few times in the RV but not since we started going to Mexico for half the year. Must get back there some summer.

  10. Sherry — Thanks as always for the very nice compliment! I know you are gonna love it here…The challenge is finding blog time amidst the activities!

    Nina — Looks like I just THOUGHT my lighthouse crawl was finished! I just extended the list, thanks to you! 😉

    Kim — I know you are going to enjoy the coast. Can’t wait to see what great places you discover, though it is going to make me want to go back!

    Dave — It has become one of my favorites as well…between the abundance of scenery and seafood, it’s my kinda place! The brew pubs alone are worthy of a visit!

    Carolyn — As I leave the coast behind, I feel your pain…thanks for sticking with me.

    Jim and Gayle — That visual made my Diet Coke go flying across the dinette. I think Elvis needs a ride on the mountain bike to settle him down.

    Sandybee — I hope you will update me on the northern part of your trip, and let me know what wonderful spots you can recommend.

    Lisa — After a conversation with the young man, I learned the secret is a backpack full of cat food. 😉

    Allen — Thanks for the nice compliment, as always!

    BC Mark — Me thinks you are correct, kind sir! And no, the calendar is not my friend in this outdoor playground. But oh, what a summer it has been!

    UpRiverDavid — Oh, that must have been such a great place to camp! I kept wishing there was a campground there, because it is such a beautiful little park!

    Contessa — Yes, I can see that Cannon Beach would be a place that you would love, but hard to compete with your current summer view!

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