As we left Cannon Beach, we drove south along the coast. The beach rose to become cliffs with dramatic, windy views of the ocean. We got to see Haystack Rock from a distance, which put it in perspective. One mighty rock among many lesser rocks.
As I was helping navigate, I noticed that not far up ahead was Tillamook, where we spent a chilly weekend last March. There has been a cheese factory there since 1894, and last summer they opened a newly improved and expanded facility. We decided to check it out.
This place is BIG. As you walk in from the giant (slightly muddy) parking lot, a 20 foot by 20 foot selfie of a cow greets you. This whole building is a love letter to cows and the creamy goodness they give us.
We walked up a flight of stairs to a self-guided tour of the cheese factory. It is all very stainless steel and sanitary, behind glass and under covers, which is good. Everything was labeled, explained and illustrated. But there wasn’t much to SEE, actually.
Then we headed downstairs to the retail portion of the tour (always exit through the gift shop!) Their market, selling every dairy product I could think of, was almost as big as the neighborhood market on the corner.
Across the way was the cafe. One side for ice cream, one for more savory items. Since it was almost dinnertime and we had a long drive ahead of us, Auntie Bridgett and I had tasty, gooey grilled cheese sandwiches and a big salad with peppered white cheddar on top. Grandpa Nelson had a scrumptious chocolate mint shake. There were these cute cookies, but we restrained ourselves.
Our drive home was through thick forests, and we got home in time to rest…and go to the Nerd Out for our friend Jack’s record release party! Oy, were we pooped when we got home!
Love, Grandma Judy