26 September 2012

In the Heart of the Tillamook Burn: Pt 1

The Coast Range of the Pacific NW is gorgeous;
I have spent much of my life traveling in and through this area
I totally love the forests, rugged mountains and rivers one sees there!
One section of the Coast Range I am especially fond of is the Tillamook Forest--
a beautiful area located in NW Oregon between the valley/metro Portland area and the northern coast.
Today you drive through this region
and everything looks so green; so lush
but when I was younger it didn't look that way.
For when I was a child and teen this area was still recovering from the effects of the Tillamook Burn-
a series of devastating forest fires that destroyed many acres of old growth timber in the
years between 1933 and 1951;
both my hubby and I remember all too well what it looked like then.
Some 40 years later
the mountainsides are again green with Douglas fir and deciduous trees
and one can only hope that fire will never again burn this area
so loved by tourists and residents alike.
This past Sunday I talked my hubby into a drive on Highway 6--
right in the heart of the Tillamook Forest.
I had a definite goal in mind
(besides a trip to the Twin Rocks area that is).
It was something I had been wanting to do for the longest time
and it was the perfect autumn day to do it...
with weather this great I was also hoping to find the autumn color
 I have been craving for about a month now;
I was not disappointed:)
Before long we arrived at the Center and I checked in with the fantastic staff there.
Then my hubby and I got busy touring the exhibits which covered
the early history of the area,  the Tillamook Burn,
the watershed,
pioneer life in the forest 
and more.
They were well done!
As a grandma
(and being a child at heart myself)
I LOVED the fact that there were activities to keep the interest of children...
one activity being a scavenger hunt...
I think children
(as well as grownups)
would also enjoy checking out a sighting scope
(used for surveying),
reading the personal memories of the Tillamook Burn
(some schoolkids helped a bit with the reforestation effort)
watching a very good film about it,
learning more about the eco-sytem there
of course--
climbing to the top of the replica of a 40 ft fire tower!
in addition to the great and FREE exhibits inside the center
and the fire tower outside,
there are many hiking trails in this area
(maps available at the center),
access to the river,
a nice deck area to grab some snacks or perhaps eat your own picnic lunch
(vending machine for snacks and beverages there),
the wonderful Wilson River suspension bridge.
(photos and more in part 2)
And now it is off to process our freshly picked heirloom apples
(I am thinking pie perhaps?)
and then I will be making salsa for the first time
(thanks to my chef son for his instructions);
but first--
the dreaded dishes...
(SO miss my dishwasher)
Have a great Wednesday!
all photos taken this Sunday at the Tillamook Forest Center.
Thank you to their GREAT staff for permission to take photos and post them here!
Here is the link to the center:
(if they are reading this, please feel free to let my know of any errors I've made
or any additional info you would like visitors to know).
If you can, take time to check out their upcoming events--
two that look interesting are on local, wild mushrooms
and wreaths.
AND remember--
it is Take a Child Outside Week
and this is an AWESOME place to do that!
The staff have set up a table in the foyer with activities for children
and the adults in their lives to do:)


by Teresa said...

Thanks for showing us that interesting place. We'll have to take the grandkids there someday.
((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Grayseasailor said...

Thanks for the introduction to another place I would like to visit, Aimee! I think I can smell your apple pie over here :) mmmmmmmm
xx from Gracie

aimee said...

You are most welcome! I think your grandsons would love it since they are so active! When we were there a little one was climbing the fire tower--he was a cutie!

aimee said...

You are welcome! It is in a lovely location along the river there; I will be back--maybe with a picnic lunch in hand!
My apple pie is done and smells very good! Now I have potatoes roasting and soon will start the salmon and salad. What are you cooking tonight?

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