Friday, July 29, 2016

Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier 2016

I left Eureka at 7:15 AM and arrived at the Elks Lodge in Myrtle, Oregon at 12:00 noon.
I knew right away that I could not get a space for my RV. There were cars everywhere. People were sitting outside and having drinks and food. The park next to the lodge was filled with families.
The town is celebrating summer fest.
I was told that there was a RV Park around the corner. I did not take a chance and went back on the Interstate and headed north.
It was hot and I kept looking for signs for a RV Park.
When I came near Roseburg I saw motorhomes parked at the Fairgrounds. I took the next exit and checked it out. I got a drive through site and turned on the air conditioner right away.
At 1:00 PM it was already too hot to do anything. I left the car attached to the motorhome and took it easy the rest of the day.

To avoid driving in the heat I left Roseburg at 5:45 AM. When I crossed the bridge in Portland and arrived in Washington State the blue sky disappeared and the temperature was perfect for driving.
I arrived at the Cascade Peaks RV Park in Randle at about 11:45 AM.
This is an outing without host. But Carol takes charge anyway.
We are parked on a large meadow without hook-ups. It is not hot here, the temperature is agreeable.

The park is busy. There are children everywhere. In the swimming pool one can not see the water because of so many kids, and they make a lot of noise. It is a weekend.

At 8:30 AM a small group of WINs left for the Windy Ridge Overlook in Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. We were in two SUVs.

Two years ago we were here but we went to the Johnston Ridge Observatory.  There we were able to look into the caldera since the observatory was built opposite of the blowout of the volcano.
At the Windy Ridge Overlook we had to climb several hundred steps to be almost even with the caldera. I believe this is as close people can get to the crater.

We all wanted to see Spirit Lake. There are still a lot logs in the lake. The lake made a spectacular recovery from the acid and other pollutants it received when the volcano blew its side.

From here we also could see Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier.

We climbed the steps and enjoyed the view.
When we came down again we went to a ranger talk. The young ranger told us about the history of the explosion and about the people who perished in that disaster.   

On the way home we stopped at the Iron Creek Falls.

Today we went to Mount Rainier National Park and walked the Grove of the Patriarchs Nature Trail.

It was an easy walk. Parents with children did it.

We had to walk over a shaky bridge. It was suggested that only one person should be on the bridge.

On the way home we stopped in Packwood and visited the Historical Museum. We were surprised how large the museum is for such a small town.

Jane, Lyn and I left at 8:30 AM to go to the Sunrise Visitor Center in Mount Rainier National Park. I had a slim hope that we would see anything because of the heavy fog.
We arrived at the Visitor Center at 10:00 AM and the fog had lifted a little bit. The rangers gave us an idea what trail we should hike.

We took the Sunrise Trail and saw a lot of wild flowers, unfortunately we never saw the top of Mount Rainier, it was hiding in the clouds.

At the lake we ate our lunch and rested for a while.
When we came back we joined a ranger for a walk. We learned a lot about the mountain. It rained for a while but we kept going.

It was not warm at an altitude of 6,500 feet and the rain and wind did not help. I wore shorts but I had brought a jacket. After the ranger talk we went to the lodge and the ladies had chilli and I had a hot chocolate.

All three of us were happy. The weather had improved and we had a wonderful hike.
When we came back to the RV Park we noticed that our group had grown. Maynard , Frosty and other WINs had arrived.

The WINs who arrived here the same day as I did left today and went to the Elks Lodge in Puyallup. I will leave tomorrow. This is a gathering place before we go to Gig Harbor.
The group who came yesterday will go from here direct to Gig harbor.
I took a little circular tour today.
First I drove to Mineral and checked out the lake. Then I drove to the Railroad Museum. I did not feel like paying ten dollars for something I have seen very often.

My next stop was Elbe, a little town with a tiny German church. I have been here before but felt like another visit.

Next to the church is Caboose Lodging; it is a motel and restaurant and bar. Instead of a building they use railroad cars and a caboose.

Today we had blue skies again and it warmed up.