I spent last weekend teaching in Tillamook, a small but interesting little town about a hundred miles northwest of us on the coast. Surrounded by dairy farms and the smell of dairy air, Tillamook is known for its creameries, especially the Tillamook Cheese Factory, which was visible from our hotel room and the Blue Heron French Cheese Company. Due to my busy schedule I had very little time to sight see and play tourist, but we did get out Saturday evening to drive the Three Capes Scenic Loop and Cape Meares. Sunday while I was teaching Trobairitz took the opportunity to explore on her own.
Despite starting off soaking wet Saturday to sunburned Sunday, I had a great weekend and I really enjoyed teaching on an offsite or remote range. It offered up some interesting challenges as it was much smaller and didn't afford the wide expanses of my familiar home range. I found myself walking past the marked cone positions, naturally expecting them to be much further than they were. The parking lot we use is nestled between a high school across the street and a small community college and I found my range voice reverberating off the concrete walls reminding me that I didn't have to project my voice nearly as far. I really enjoyed working with Kandice, the other instructor whom I never met before and Michael, my first mentor. We were joined by a friend of mine who used to live here in town but recently moved to Tillamook, he brought his young daughter down to watch us teach as he would like to become an instructor as well.
Sunday evening came quickly and before we knew it we were headed for home. Although I was too tired to drive I was still running on range mode and couldn't sit still. I had grabbed the camera and was anxiously taking in the scenery I had missed coming up Saturday. Asking Brandy to stop the car I jumped out and snapped a few photos of Tillamook's other, yet lesser known crop and s'mores staple...
This area boasts the ideal climate to grow this soft confectionery and produces some of the world's largest marhmallows.
Harvesting marshmallows is tedious work and farmers sometimes wait several weeks for the marhmallows to mature enough to pick and ship to processing plants where they are either formed into smaller marhmallows and packaged for your enjoyment or shipped to Hershey Pennsylvania where they are packaged with bars of milk chocolate and graham wafers.
A couple from California pulled over while I was taking photos and asked "What are those?"
Needless to say, I made their day.
Good thing they didn't ask me about the giant rooster I saw...