In case you hadn't noticed in reading this blog I am all about the reward system. Food, drink, travel, movies. If there's not a payoff in sight, count me out And if it's a sure thing, count me way in! Such is one of my favorite hikes in Oregon, the incredibly beautiful Cascade Head Trail just north of the hellish blight on the Oregon coast known as Lincoln City. The trail, which winds through national forest and Nature Conservancy land, offers a reward to effort ratio that is off the charts, which is an equation also high on my list. From the top you can see for miles down the coast and the take in the delta of the Salmon River estuary. On the day we were there a couple of weeks ago the view was stunning (the pic at top left is about two-thirds of the way up, and that is w and I being blown around the top on this über-windy day in the pic lower right). Just long enough at around 1.6 miles each way to give you a solid workout, especially the last bit of the uphill section to the top of Cascade Head. The walk up goes through thick forest and open hillside grassland. I've seen herds of elk on past trips, and there never seems to be too many people on the trail (unfortunately dogs aren't allowed). Absolutely worth the day trip from Portland.
After the hike we headed north to Tillamook to head back on Highway 6 to Portland. As we pulled into Tillamook we both realized we were far too hungry to have to wait two hours 'til we got home. Luckily, or so we thought after checking the iPhone, the taco truck phenomenon had hit Tillamook. We found the La Providencia truck along highway 101 heading north out of the downtown area. Always up to satisfy that particular fetish, I pulled in with hopes high. They have a limited menu but some interesting choices, which at the time seemed promising. w ordered the carnitas quesadilla and I opted for 2 carnitas, 2 adobada (pork cooked in red sauce), and 1 buche taco (pork stomach, although I think they meant pork belly....I think.....). All incredibly cheap as they should be. But in this case you don't get what you pay for. The tortillas were very pedestrian, commercially made, and the tacos and quesadilla were unbelievably greasy. w resorted to wiping her quesadilla off with her napkin to sop up some of the oil. For me not to finish tacos is almost heresy, but we both dumped half of our "lunch" in the garbage, and our stomachs were a-rumblin' all the way home. Consider yourselves warned. Apparenly La Providencia had not heard of, or chose to ignore, my philosophy of the reward system!