We crossed over the Cascades (and left the smokey air behind us) and got to the coast at Tillamook which is actually inland a bit. As soon as we got parked we took the Jeep to explore the beaches there and wound up at a nice little beach called Oceanside. There was this weird doorway into the mountain.

Oceanside and tunnel through beaches
At first I thought it was some kind of bomb shelter.

Turns out it was the entrance to a tunnel that ran about one-hundred feet through the mountain and came out on a beach on the other side. So cool!

The opening on the other side was barely noticeable. You had to climb up a few feet to get in. The beach on this side was nothing but cobblestone sized rocks.

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Here is Tom going back through the tunnel.

That was a pretty neat introduction to the Oregon beaches.

The next day we checked out the Tillimook Air Museum. It was in this ginormous wooden framed hanger. They were actually built to house and build blimps.

Air Museum in tillamook
There were two huge hangers but one burned down. Check out the size of the doors!

The small museum inside was informative, and they had a great little movie about the blimps. We were a little surprised there weren’t more aircraft inside, but it was all about the hanger and the blimps. Too bad they don’t have them anymore.

Check out the motorhomes stored in there! The hangar makes them look tiny! Overall it was a pretty good museum and we were glad we went.

Then we went north to Wheeler. ย The idea was that we would park the motorhome at a few points along the coast, then take the Jeep up and down to check it all out. So we set out the next day with plans to drive up to Astoria – the northern most town on the coast.

lumber shipment port astoria
Logs being loaded at Port Astoria

But we passed it up and drove in to Washington. It was just across the river and I thought it would be cool to say we went to Washington. Plus, who doesn’t want to cross bridges?

crossing bridge oregon to washington

So we went to a state park called Cape Disappointment on the southwestern tip of the state and it did not disappoint! We checked out the lighthouses, and the remnants of Fort Canby. The forested area was amazing and made the old bunkers look like something out of a jungle movie.

lighthouses and forts in cape disappointment & washington
Tom in one of the abandoned bunkers covered in moss.
lighthouses and forts in cape disappointment & washington
Looking past the rusted out door of a bunker onto a gun platform.
hiking in cape disappointment
Tom looking in one of three levels of bunkers.

The North Head lighthouse (Tom is pointing it out in the background) was closed for renovations, but we were able to hike to the Cape Disappointment lighthouse, although we couldn’t get inside. It is the site of a Coast Guard lookout and sadly the lighthouse is not being maintained.ย lighthouses and forts in cape disappointment & washington

When we left the state park, we saw a sign for Fort Columbia, so of course we stopped.

lighthouses and forts in cape disappointment & washington - fort columbia

This fort was much newer and the barracks and buildings were still standing.

They even had guns here that were moved in when the site was restored. Tom had a great time poking around them.

We were hoping to see some more of the forts in the area, but it was getting late in the day. This is all we saw of Fort Stevens – we didn’t have a state park permit so we didn’t even park – this shot is a drive by:

fort stevens
fort stevens

It was a fabulous day. The weather was perfect and the scenery spectacular. I can’t wait to see more of the Oregon coast.

Happy Travels,

Peace & Love, Joy