Mia’s sister Martha, her husband Chuck, our nephew James and Mia’s mother Maggie are visiting us for a week. They flew in on Friday night around 9pm, beat from a day of travel, and when we finally got home close to 10:30 they were all dragging because it felt closer to 1:30 east coast time.
After a relatively calm beginning to our Saturday (pancakes!) we made the haul up to Mount St. Helens. This time of the year the visitor centers are mostly closed except for one at Coldwater and it is only open on the weekends. Sunday was supposed to be wet and the forecast for Saturday was clear and sunny. So their first experience in Oregon was going to actually be Washington.
This was Mia’s first trip to the mountain too and my first time in the blast zone. Most of my experiences have been on the south and east side of the mountain, like when Juston and I biked Plains of Abraham. I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that this sucker blew it’s top. I remember being in 4th grade back east and seeing the news stories about the eruption.
It was fairly cloudy most of the drive up route 504, but all of a sudden we come to the first real viewpoint and there she is, right in your face. We’re in the blast zone at this point and it’s amazing. I have no other way to describe it.
There are several visitor centers and quite a few scenic view points along the way to the Coldwater visitor center. Here is where the road ends in the winter too. They don’t plow all the way up to Johnston Ridge.
This is some of the best views of the crater I have gotten. The employees at the center told us how much of a nut-house it can be in the summer and that winter was really a good time to come. There were maybe 10 other people there this late in the day.
We made it up in time to see one of the early 1980’s movies of the eruption, visit the gift shop and walk around for awhile. Then it was drive back to Oregon, get dinner and chill a bit. Day one of the NH Invasion complete and we survived.
All the pics are here
Thanks for reading,