On Sunday of Labor Day Weekend we drove to Mount St. Helens, the site of the horrendous 1980 eruption. We took I-5 to Castle Rock and The Spirit Lake Memorial Highway (WA 504). This drive rises from about 500 ft to 4000 ft above sea level. It is about 48 miles from Castle Rock to the Johnson Ridge Observatory, the closest one can get to the mountain without special permits. This beautiful road has dozens of pullouts with fabulous views. There are four visitor centers along the way.
|The first visitor center is about 5 miles from Castle Rock.|
|The ranger was giving a talk as we arrived. Unfortunately the foreground was in deep shadow and the mountain in bright sunlight. Without HDR I could not get the whole scene in the photo.|
|Here is the view behind the ranger in the above photo.|
|The first of dozens of pullouts with great views. After stopping a 4 or 5 of these we |
became jaded and were more selective
|There is a small stream running through the valley but most of what looks |
like river is actually the remains of the lave flow
|Both Mt St Helens and Frank are missing something at the top.|
|Up at the Johnson Ridge Observatory|
|Dogs were only permitted on a 3-4 foot strip about 100 yards long.|
It seems that federal facilities like national parks are very dog unfriendly.
|Rosie and the Golden puppy became quick friends.|
|This angst-producing bridge is about 400 ft above the valley floor.|
I felt the the side walls could have been 2 feet higher.
When we came back to our campground we took a walk on the beach. It has a grand view onto the Columbia River. Lots of driftwood. Too bad so many people leave beer cans and other trash behind.
|Sharky has a terrific view from his resting place.|
|The Columbia Riverview RV Park and Campground in Woodland Washington|
|Diva stands out even among giants.|