The Tillamook Air Museum is located just across the airport. The museum is located in a former U.S. Navy hangar built in 1943 to house the K-class blimps being used for anti-submarine coast patrol and convoy escort. This is the largest wooden span structure in the world. The building is 1,072 feet long, 296 feet wide, and 192 feet tall, the Mighty 350 is a Matchbox truck along side of it. Stationed at Naval Air Station Tillamook was Squadron ZP-33 with a complement of 8 K-ships. The K-ships were 252 feet long and filled with 425,000 cubic feet of helium. With a range of 2,000 miles and an ability to stay aloft for 3 days, they were well suited for coastal patrol. NAS Tillamook was decommissioned in 1948. The present museum has one of America's finest collections of WWII War Birds, and an exhibit hall featuring rare historical wartime and aviation artifacts.
Tillamook is also home to the Tillamook Cheese Factory, the most visited tourist attraction on the Oregon Coast. Every year, 78 million pounds of cheese with the legendary Tillamook label are delivered to destinations throughout the world. We saw cheesemakers and packaging staff at work. We heard about Tillamook cheese history and learned the cheesemaking process through interactive kiosk screens. We smelled the delicious aroma of freshly baked waffle cones. Best of all, we tasted the award-winning cheeses, and bought a cone with one of 38 flavors of ice cream, delicious!
The 3 Capes Scenic Drive is one of the most popular and spectacular stretches of scenery on the Oregon Coast. We take a short drive to Pacific City and the beginning of the 40 mile drive starting with Cape Kiwanda State Park. Cape Kiwanda is the smallest of the three capes but not necessarily the least interesting. We sit and watch surfers and fishermen, adults, children and dogs out enjoying the thrill of the Pacific Ocean. Haystack Rock dominates the ocean landscape here.
The scenic route then takes us on a narrow winding drive that moves inland in spots and then to Cape Lookout, another state park. Trails and viewpoints are abundant. Cape Lookout State Park encompassed nearly every geologic and natural feature found along the Oregon Coast. The park was named for Cape Lookout, a rocky headland extending one and three-quarter miles into the ocean.
The next stop is Netarts Bay and the quaint community of Netarts considered one of the best coastal locales for clamming and crabbing. Just offshore from Oceanside is Three Arch Rocks, a National Wildlife Refuge dedicated in the early 1900s by President Theodore Roosevelt. It is the home for many types of bird life and an area frequented by sea lions. Turning left from the bay, the route climbs up through forested hills toward the entrance to Cape Meares State Park. We visit the legendary Octopus Tree, a Sitka spruce that sends six huge trunks into the sky and the Cape Meares Lighthouse.
Continuing on our tour, we skirt the southern edge of Tillamook Bay, looking across the water toward Bay City and Garibaldi. The bay, which has many commercially harvested oyster beds, is a vital habitat for much of the county's fish and wildlife. A fantastic day in the Great MisAdventures of David and JoEllen!