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Ocean isn’t all that glistens in Rockaway Beach

Posted by on Aug 17, 2017 in Visit Tillamook Coast | Comments Off on Ocean isn’t all that glistens in Rockaway Beach

Family’s gem and jewelry shop glows with upbeat energy
Rockaway Beach is a jewel on the Oregon Coast, and fittingly, a gem and jewelry shop sparkles in the center of town.
That bright spot is Troxel’s Gem and Jewelry Company, adjacent to Troxel’s Rock Garden.
Jen Troxel
The Troxels — Jen, a jewelry designer, and Victor, a lapidary who cuts and polishes stones – opened a store in Rockaway Beach in 2009.
After some moves, they are where they “ideally wanted to be,” Victor said.
The shop carries jewelry and loose gemstones, and while “we also have specimens of some of the rocks the gemstones come from,” Victor said, “we’re not technically a rock shop.”
The Troxels also makes custom jewelry, including creations from stones that customers have found in nature or in the rock garden next to the shop.
The mini-golf course at the Troxel Rock Garden
Next to their store is a garden that is an ever-changing space of rock-lined pathways where visitors can sit, stroll and — if desired — pick rough stones and choose the price to pay for them. It also contains a 24-hour mini-golf course, giving kids something to enjoy.
“I really believe that God is leading everybody somewhere,” Victor said.”We love what we do. I tell everybody if I had a billion dollars in the bank … I’d still come down here every day.”
Troxel’s Gem and Jewelry Company is located at 146 Highway 101 South in Rockaway Beach.
They can also be reached at 541-418-2842 or
Source: Visit Tillamook Coast

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The Southern Flow Corridor – a Wetland in Recovery

Posted by on Aug 15, 2017 in Visit Tillamook Coast | Comments Off on The Southern Flow Corridor – a Wetland in Recovery

Five rivers flow into Tillamook Bay: the Tillamook, Trask Wilson, Kilchis, and Miami Rivers.
The Wilson and Trask rivers are the largest, arising high in the Coast Range to the east and southeast of Tillamook. The town is situated between them, about three miles southeast of the bay.  The two rivers converge downstream of the town into a sort of combined delta with multiple interconnected channels leading to the bay.
Much of this delta area was diked and drained for pasture and hayfields, but the lowest-lying of these pastures tended to remain too wet to be as productive. They have also gotten wetter due to rising sea levels.
Over 500 acres of this delta area have been purchased, both to restore natural wetlands and to reconfigure the dike system to alleviate winter flooding.
The acquisition and restoration project has been under way for almost 20 years, with extensive local community input, and is now showing great results.  Much of the original dike system has been removed, and new dikes have been installed to the east, structured to move floodwaters out of the area more quickly as well as allow former lower-quality pastures to revert to marsh.
These restored tidal marshes are productive nurseries for juvenile salmon and numerous other estuarine and marine fishes.  The new dikes are fitted with “fish-friendly” tide gates, to regulate water flow without blocking fish passage.
A Great Blue Heron hunting in a Tillamook Bay tidal marsh.
The project is now far enough along that good hiking and nature watching opportunities are available. Habitats to see include: fresh-water, brackish, and saline tidal marshes, as well as shrubby wetlands and remnant Sitka Spruce swamps.
During a recent visit, Swainson’s Thrushes, Robins, Song Sparrows, and Pacific Wrens were singing noisily in the Spruce Swamps, and Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, and Marsh Wrens were evident in the recovering marshes.
In fall and winter expect to see large numbers of waterfowl here as well.  Raptors are also common and conspicuous here, including Bald Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks, White-tailed Kites, and Northern Kestrels.
A pair of adult Bald Eagles on a snag-topped Sitka Spruce near Tillamook.  After a century of rarity, Bald Eagles are again common in Tillamook County.
Access is reached from Goodspeed Road, which extends west from Hwy 101 about 0.9 miles north of downtown Tillamook.  One mile west of Hwy 101 the road has a right-angle turn to the north.  You can park near this turn and walk out the new levee here, or continue 0.4 miles past 2 houses to a small parking area near one of the Wilson River channels.  From here you can walk on the new levee to the left or walk west along an open strip where a former levee has been removed down to marsh surface level.  Over time this strip is likely to fill in with brush, but currently it is a nice walking surface, at least in summer.
A few words of warning:  First, restoration is not complete, so if you encounter construction workers and equipment, stay well away for both your and their safety.  Second, particularly during winter, this area can get quite wet, and is subject to tidal fluctuations, so dress appropriately and keep track of tides to avoid getting stranded by rising water.
Source: Visit Tillamook Coast

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Horine family brings back “auto camps”

Posted by on Aug 11, 2017 in Visit Tillamook Coast | Comments Off on Horine family brings back “auto camps”

Travelers passing through Beaver might find themselves puzzled over the nature of the newest establishment here: Becker’s Cabins Auto Camp. But, those of a certain age, will know exactly what it is.
“Back in the old days when people didn’t camp in tents anymore, the auto camps were little cabins and there was always a place to park your Model T,” said Owner Julie Horine. “There are not many that exist anymore, but a lot of the older people know what auto camps were. They know when they see the sign, they go ‘Oh my gosh, it’s like when we were kids and we would go camping with our families and stay at the old resort.’”
Becker’s Cabins Auto Camp sign in Beaver.
Julie owns the lodging with her husband Larry and daughter Jenny.
It’s believed that the original owner, Ben Becker, built the cabins in the 1940s as rentals to raise money to send his children to Christian college.
The Horines bought Becker’s home in 2008 and the cabins a few years later. Of the four cabins, two are rentals, a third is an antique store and the fourth, Jenny and her family call home.
The Horines family.
The rentals feature vintage decor, including iron beds and bent willow furniture, and full kitchens.
“They are fabulous,” said Jenny. “We have a customer staying here right now who says this place is just magical. They love the cabin so much; they will definitely be back.”
Cabin interior.
People often discover the rental cabins when they stop by the antique shop, where Larry specializes in “petroliana,” a new word for old gas station collectibles.
“We buy a lot of history from the area,” Jenny said. “We’ve got the old visible gas tanks out front. We have vintage cars and vintage trailers. It’s all about the history here. If you want to step back in time this is where you want to be.”
Source: Visit Tillamook Coast

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Enjoy an authentic English tea time at Tillamook’s signature tea house

Posted by on Aug 8, 2017 in Visit Tillamook Coast | Comments Off on Enjoy an authentic English tea time at Tillamook’s signature tea house

When all the stars align to create a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, it may be a Bermuda Triangle. Or, it may be a godsend.
For the new owners of the Tillamook Coast’s only tea house, La Tea Da, it was definitely the latter.
“We knew the tea house was for sale, and had mulled it over in the past but the stars just never aligned,” said Glenda Tonski, who owns and operates the tea room with her daughter, Belinda Williams. “And then, about the third time the opportunity presented itself we looked at each other and realized the timing was perfect; I was recently unemployed and there was nothing holding us back so we jumped in head first.”
Owners Glenda Tonski and Belinda Williams.
The mother/daughter duo took over the Tillamook teahouse at the first of the year. They share the duties of running La Tea Da, with Glenda in the kitchen and Belinda greeting guests and running the Gift Shoppe.
They spent two months prior to taking over, learning from the previous owners, Terry Mizee and Suzanne Petty, who founded and ran La Tea Da for 15 years.
“They didn’t hold anything back,” Glenda said. “They shared everything from their secret recipes to how to make their fancy gift-wrap bows.”
With the holidays and months of training under their belts, Glenda and Belinda rang in the new year with their brand new business endeavor. What was supposed to be the slow season kept the new owners on their toes.
“People had heard that there were new owners, and I think their curiosity brought them in,” said Glenda.
Now, with six months behind them they are continuing to make sure their guests enjoy a quality tea experience.
“When people walk in the door, they are walking into an English garden tea room,” Belinda said.
“Tea rooms have different looks and feels and ours is an English garden.”
La Tea Da in Tillamook is an English garden tea room.
On any given afternoon, the tea room is packed – making reservations a must if you plan to get in here.
Always popular is the La Tea Da High Tea – a towering platter of delectable finger foods each more delicious then the next. From sweet and savory scones smothered in Devonshire cream to dainty desserts, the High Tea is a traditional tea-time experience that begins with a hot brewed pot of tea and a taste of chilled sorbet to cleanse your pallet. Then, enjoy three tiers of tea sandwiches, a mix of savories and sweets, and handcrafted desserts.
Also on the lunch menu are daily soups, salads and full-sized tea sandwiches made with fresh, mouthwatering ingredients.
“I think people are often surprised by the quality and quantity of our food,” Belinda said.
“Especially our gentlemen guests who didn’t realize when they walked through the door how hearty and filling our lunch specials can be.”
Also surprising is how they’ve been able to integrate their teas into nearly every item that comes out of the kitchen.
“We do a lot of cooking with our teas, and will probably never stop learning how to use teas in new ways,” Glenda said.
“Tea is where our passion is,” added Belinda. “We’ve refocused the Gift Shoppe to be much more tea-centric.” From tea pots to place settings, Belinda said, “If you’re hosting your own tea party, you can come in here and find everything you need.”

Belinda is also studying to become a Tea Sommelier- a trained and knowledgeable tea professional with an expertise in all things tea related.
La Tea Da is an Oregon Coast destination, there’s no question about it.
“People who love tea will look up the nearest tea room while they’re traveling,” said Belinda. “And if you’re on the Oregon Coast we are it.”
They also have guests who travel to the Tillamook Coast just for a trip to the tea room.
“We’ve had people in from Vancouver and Eugene, and even people who have visited tea rooms in Victoria British Columbia or London and say that our food is better and the experience is more fun.”
La Tea Da is open Tuesday-Saturday.
Along with more than 30 varieties of tea, their full lunch menu is served from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
You can also stop in for a Morning Cuppa from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. to enjoy a cup of piping hot tea and a scone, or Cream Tea from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. for tea, scones and dessert.
La Tea Da is open every Tuesday – Saturday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Source: Visit Tillamook Coast

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Moon River Farm: Eat the Rainbow

Posted by on Jul 19, 2017 in Visit Tillamook Coast | Comments Off on Moon River Farm: Eat the Rainbow

Little golden-orange fruit inside a thin papery husk. Ever had anything like that? Well, those are ground cherries found at Moon River Farm.
Lily Strauss and Kayleigh Hillert started Moon River Farm in Nehalem just this year. They turned an acre of pasture into an acre of delicious vegetables with the celebratory slogan: “Eat the Rainbow!”
And back to those cherries: “Think Hawaiian pizza: they’re meaty, but sweet,” said Lily.
“They’re great for snacking: cute and yummy,” added Kayleigh.
Find Lily and Kayleigh of Moon River Farm at the Manzanita Farmers Market on Friday evenings. Photo courtesy of: Moon River Farm
Lily and Kayleigh have been farming together for 5 years, starting just down the road at Revolution Gardens. It was there, that they spent 6 weeks as WWOOF’ers (volunteer farm workers) in 2012.
To start their own farm, they found land at Meadow Harvest, a grass-fed beef and lamb operation. There, Lily and Kayleigh share a connection to farming and community with guests of Meadow Harvest’s on-farm Airbnb.
“Eat the Rainbow” is the slogan for Moon River Farm. Photo courtesy of: Moon River Farm
Find produce from Moon River Farm at the Manzanita Farmers Market.
To hear about what’s in season, get recipes, and more, sign up for their newsletter on their website, or check out their Facebook page. You can contact them by phone at 303-807-9889 or email
Source: Visit Tillamook Coast

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Experience darkness on the Tillamook Coast: Solar Eclipse 2017

Posted by on Jul 17, 2017 in Visit Tillamook Coast | Comments Off on Experience darkness on the Tillamook Coast: Solar Eclipse 2017

Itʼs less than 40 days until the Tillamook Coast will go dark for two minutes.
At 10:15 a.m. on August 21 visitors and residents between Manzanita and Lincoln City will be able to view a Total Solar Eclipse, the first in the United States since 1979.
In order to view the eclipse, viewers will need to be in the “Path of Totality” which is a band roughly 70 miles wide. The best viewings will be between Pacific City on the Tillamook Coast and Lincoln City, preferable in a wide open space such as the beach. Other areas in Tillamook County, north of Pacific City, will have a partial viewing of the eclipse.
“Path of Totality”
According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, “an estimated 1 million visitors are coming to Oregon to view this celestial spectacle. That means traffic backups are inevitable, but preparation ensures a good time for visitors and residents alike.”
ODOT suggests that visitors and residents take care of errands prior to August 21 and carpool with friends and family in order to limit vehicles on the road.
Want some memorabilia to remember the event? The City of Rockaway Beach is selling “I saw the solar eclipse in Rockaway Beach” t-shirts at City Hall for $15. The Tillamook Creameryʼs gift shop is also stocked with Solar Eclipse souvenirs.
Shirts available at City Hall in Rockaway Beach.
And, donʼt forget to pick up your eclipse viewing glasses that are available for free in local Tillamook County businesses.
To book lodging visit and click on Places to Stay.
Source: Visit Tillamook Coast

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