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  • Writer's pictureMake The Most of the Dash

Tillamook and the Salem Jeepers

In planning our trip to the Oregon coast, the Tillamook Creamery and the Jeep Badge of Honor trails were a must on our list. The drive from Yachats north on the 101 to Tillamook only took two and a half hours which went by fast as the drive is very scenic. We drove through many small towns that had some beautiful old buildings noting the architectural design of old.

Being the weekend, there was a line to enter the Tillamook Creamery. Parking is plentiful and very convenient. Parking near the front, we met four ladies from the Salem Jeepers club. Turns out they were having a National Go Topless Day event on the creamery grounds, and were so kind to invite us to stop on by after we visited the creamery.

There were two lines at the Creamery - one for purchasing ice cream and a second to enter the facility for the self-tour and the store. It didn't take long before we were able to enter and being a little short on time, we headed straight for the store to purchase cheese, smoked fish and souvenirs. We found a perfect little t-shirt for our oldest grandson who loves ice cream, and a great state book about Oregon for our youngest grandson - plus we got a Tillie the Cow toy for free with our purchase!

After our shopping and having some scrumptious ice cream, we drove over to the Salem Jeepers club event where we saw some great Jeeps, met and talked to some really nice folks, and supported a great cause. The Salem Jeepers were having a night trail run in the Tillamook State Forest that night and they were so gracious to invite us to join them. What an awesome and fun opportunity! After getting the meet-up location from them, we headed out to get our Oregon OHV tag which is required to run those trails.

Once we had our tag, we too the drive west on the Oregon Hwy 6 East to scope out potential camping sites for the night near the Jordan Creek OHV Staging Area which is where the Salem Jeepers were meeting for the night trail run. There were many campsites available, and after choosing one closest to the meeting

point, we stopped to have stretch our legs, feed Moose and have dinner. The campsite was lined by tall lush evergreen trees with a large clearing and a fire ring. It was perfect, we just hoped it would still be vacant after the night run. But if not, we had a couple of other sites scoped out as back-up.

Meeting up with the Salem Jeepers, we met Aaron who was leading the run and the rest of the club members that were there. Everyone introduced themselves, shook our hands and were so friendly and made us feel so welcomed. Knowing we were new to the area, Aaron made sure to position us third behind him in the line-up. The trail was rated a 3-4 but it proved challenging with certain sections being over-grown and with low hanging tree limbs. Aaron, who was driving a lifted Galdiator with what looked to be 40's, got a tree trunk caught in his passenger rear wheel well. Brian, along with other other drivers, jumped out to see how they could help. Using his Dave Puzon bowie knife from Worktuff Gear, he saw through the 6" tree trunk to help remove it from Aaron's Gladiator.

Mid-run, we stopped for a bonfire, a snack and conversation. We didn't stay long as it was getting late and everyone had a long drive back home to Salem. Finishing up the trail run without further incident, we bid the club members farewell and thanked them for a great experience! Made our way back to the camp site we had scoped out before, and it was still vacant! Making quick work of setting up our tent and making Moose's bed, we hit our pillows at about 3:30am. It was a very quiet night and we slept right through the night (or morning at this point). We had a quick and easy oatmeal and banana breakfast before heading back to town, Tillamook, to fill up our gas tank in order to do the Jeep of Badge of Honor trails - which is a story for next time.


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