Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wednesday July 27 - Seattle, WA to Mt Ranier, Mt St Helens, Mt Hood and Bend, OR

We got a call from John and Tommy 1st thing this morning, they were about an hour away from us so we decided to wait.   Besides, there was a pretty heavy cloud cover which was forecast to lift as the day went on so we figured our chances would be better an hour or more from now.

Unfortunately, that didn't happen and Mt Ranier escaped our view and cameras.   After John and Tommy got there we talked about the next few days and stops and hit the road.    We were hoping for better luck from Mt Saint Helens and Mt Hood.   On the way to "Helens" we stopped at Tacoma in search for that special gift for loved ones back home and after a few tries, we found what we were looking for and hit the road again.

As we left the exit and drove the 5 miles to the visitors center there it was,  Mount Saint Helens,  probably the worst volcanic eruption in the lower 48 in modern history.    In the spring of 1980,  the top of this dormant volcano literally slid down the side of the mountain and opened up sending ash, water, lava and mud for miles and miles in the air.   Millions of trees were destroyed, new lakes were formed and the landscape was forever changed.   Today the volcano sleeps and it is snow covered this late in July.     When we reached the visitors center, the clouds covered the very top but we still got some good pictures.   The park service offered a good 15 minute movie about the eruption and there were very nice interpretive displays in the building.   After a few souvenirs, we hit the road towards Mt Hood where we would have to hurry to reach it before sunset.

Somewhere between Olympia, WA and Vancouver, WA we left I-5 and headed east on I-84 towards Portland.  Going across the Columbia River from WA to OR there was Mt Hood, sticking out of the clouds and standing proud.  Guess who pulled over on the bridge to take pictures?  Not Russ ;-)

As we continued on I-84 for the exit to Mt Hood, there was Mt St Helens to our north,  free of clouds and looking pretty.    As we headed towards Mt Hood,  we could see that it was all but covered by thing clouds,  not what we wanted to see as just 1/2 hour before it looked much different.   As we drove the winding roads  to the summit of the town of Mt Hood,  there she was no clouds and just begging to get photographed which Russ and I obliged.

I was sunset and now the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting darker faster.   With the sun setting at 2035 tonight it was pretty much dark by 2115.   We still had a good 90 minutes to our hotel in Bend, OR.    We reached the hotel by 2300, checked in and here we are trying update information and upload pictures.

Tomorrow we head to Newberry Volcanic National Monument,  Crater Lake National Park (where Russ wants to jump in and swim).

The Day will end in Klamath Falls Oregon and then to   Lava Beds National Monument, Mt Shasta and Lassen Volcanic National Monument.

Along the way
Mount Saint Helens
Mount Hood


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