Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Mt St Helens

MSH80 eruption mount st helens 05-18-80-dramatic-edit.jpg
web photo
My next stop on my "most awesome adventure", after a quick but fun visit at Ridgefield, was up one exit on I-5N where I camped @ Paradise Point campground for one night.  This time of year most campgrounds have maybe one loop and one restroom open...I hate that! WE are still paying full price but we get way less...That's about all I can say for Paradise Point.  The next day I headed right up to Mt St Helen's it was not far away...

Its amazing how much regrowth has taken place since the May 18, 1980 blast! These are the reminders of how it was ....these trees left in place as they were blasted down by the force of the explosion on that day!  I do see some new trees standing and showing color so one day this whole mountainside will be covered with maples and aspen and whatever else...

                  and some trees have been planted...this is a stand of noble fir I think

SO the blast and the glacier mud flow changed the landscape forever on that day and took over 50 human lives with it.....1,500 elk, 5,000 deer and countless other critters!! It was the largest landslide in history!

...but it was not all about the smoke and ash, new lakes were formed like Coldwater lake when Coldwater creek was dammed by debris and the course of the creek was changed... within 4 yrs it had everything any lake has, birds, fish, vegetation.

...and its one of the most beautiful I've seen! Only Mother Nature can create this...

SO Happy they are keeping it off limits to camping and such... it is pristine!!  I saw a pair (new life bird) of Barrow's Goldeneye..

and a Bald Eagle came down to land for a moment...

St Helen's now has 3/4 of the dome missing! And yet it still smolders....so who knows when it could happen again...there was a small eruption in 2004! 

There is a wonderful but scary film of the events leading up to the blast and the blast itself... and some great exhibits in the VC on Johnston Ridge Observatory, I would highly recommend visiting St Helen's its a magical area IM happy it's  now part of the public lands, we need more and more to protect and save...

every stump tells the story of the blast...

Many refused to leave their homes when the mandatory evacuation orders were given, resident Harry Truman had lived in the shadow of the Mt for 50 years he refused to leave his home...he said, "Im coming down feet first if Im coming down at all," ...he was 83. 


I stayed one whole day but would rather have stayed longer...

There is a Campground down the mountain near the first Visitor's Center, called Sea Quest.  Again, it was mostly closed up...the showers were old and in need of a good cleaning, and they charge full price...so State Parks need to improve..next morning it was time to Blaze a new trail farther north..

next stop Mt Rainier. 

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Just What Day is it Anyways?

SO Monday Night I stopped at the Bridge of the Gods on Historic Highway 30 and had a lovely little room at the same name motel.  I was very close to Portland so I emailed big bins Jen of I Used to Hate Birds Fame.  Wondered if she would like to show me around Ridgefield NWR since my path would take me right past it...I had plans to see at least 2 more water falls possibly 3 and the Bonneville dam.. So when I sent that email my computer is still on Eastern time...It was late when I signed off like after 10 so my computer told me it was Tuesday!! (well it was Tuesday back on the East coast)  I got up and Jen had answered my email...she said Im off tomorrow Wednesday, so we can hook up!! Since I was not really aware of what day it really was my computer said it was Tuesday so tomorrow is Wednesday and so she wants to meet me TODAY...see Jen had answered my email on Tuesday so Tomorrow was Wednesday not today but in my pea brain it was already Wednesday!! You Got that?

SO I said I can meet you at 3 see  you there after I see these waterfalls...

Many of my photos are missing 

Off I went first to the dam...Bonneville Locks n Dam.

A little video of the fish

Very interesting stuff...I enjoyed seeing the fish in the lower level try to swim up the ladders they make for them to go upstream...

I saw a lot of cedar wax wings there! This one gave me that over the shoulder look...

Photo Missing 

I got my passport stamped here and Pinched a Penny and they had Penny holder folders so I got one so happy was I!

I left the dam and headed to the waterfall area..Horsetail falls is road side..

And the Big One Multnomah...

NPS Photo

Wakeena was another hike to get a good view so I opted for the standard  best view from where I was still not recovered from the 3.8 miler with elevation gains..

AWESOME all of them!! I got another penny pinched at Multnomah!! 

I had to meet Jen at 3 so Off I went to Ridgefield...I got there about 2:30 looked around waked Casey and then by about 10 till I met this lady who told me there was another unit I was at the S unit so I wondered if I was at the wrong unit..So I fired up what juice I had left in the laptop and Jen had written..."your email sounded as if you are going to be there today, is that right?" SO I thought well it is Wednesday so yeah...BUT then I looked at my computer calendar it was TUESDAY!! Holy Cow...so I shot off a message sorry I can try for tomorrow..etc..then she called and saved the day and met me anyways!! How nice is that???
Ridgefield impressed me with the variety of habitat in a small space...it has everything going for it.  We did a loop drive around and we saw quite a lot in the space of a couple hrs!  I saw herons and egrets right off and Jen saw Red tails and Northern Harries, then there was Sandhill cranes and mallards, and coots, and kingfishers, golden crowned sparrows and stellars jays,  Long billed dowitchers I need that on my list but my photo just wasnt good enough to tell...some pied billed grebes...and brewers black birds! 
Gr Blue Heron

long billed dowitcher

red tailed hawk

pied billed grebes

female mallard

cranes in flight

and lots of turtles were out catching some rays..

Big Thanks to Jen for a great Birding afternoon and for accommodating my blunder of what day it was!!

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Time to visit the HOOD!

Lo an behold I have 3 bars of internet tonight! Ill try to get a post in my laptop battery life is about an hr...I left the painted hills and the John Day River behind....and headed north for Mt Hood going on Hwy 26 (West)  I could see what I believe was Mt. Jefferson off to my southwest..if Im wrong please correct me..

Mt Hood was also visible to the north of my location quite a distance away...11,239 ft tall the tallest point in Oregon, its in the Cascade range and last erupted in 1866! Only 20 miles from Portland...so it was crowded in this area.  

near by is Mt Jefferson 

Along the way I intersected the Pacific Crest trail I've crossed this trail before in my travels down around Mohave, California..years back, I have not seen the movie but I did read the book, Wild. 

Flickr ate my photos

Some nice color up in this area...

I wanted to camp at Trillium Lake CG but it was full when I arrived on Saturday the 19th of Sept...So I camped in Still Creek a Forest Service FREE CG about 3/4 a mile away that night and the next day I moved to the lake when every had to go back to work..*GRIN* I got a $10 discount with my National Pass card.

Sunday was sunny and warm and the clouds played with the mountain top...I sat in my chair almost all day and watched clouds and people around the lake..

with Multnomah as the natives call it in the background...

Like I said I people watched...

and bird watched some too...

Missing Photos

Some of the lake trail was boardwalked  makes it nice n easy to walk..

there was no bad view..... all good ones!!

I met some very nice ladies who called themselves the Trail Trekkers...a group of about 10 of them get together every year in a different spot and this yr they chose Portland and they were down at the "hood" for the day No Photos of these great gals all over 60 but trust me they glowed with life!!

Next morning I got up and the Mountain  was shrouded in the low hanging clouds so time to go...

I knew the fog would burn off but didn't want to wait around I could be 50 miles away by then...so I packed up and headed out...my route took me right through the Fruit Loop of Mt Hood...I saw vineyards, orchards, and lots of home grown good things..

.I stopped at this unique market called the Draper Girls Country Farm...

You name it and they had it!! I was especially drawn to the FLOWERS,,cut your own $1 a stem...

And what a beautiful backdrop they have on their little piece of Heaven...

And in the side yard even better this gal offered to take my photo I said only If I can leave my hat ON...my hair is having a hard time with hats on hats off these days...

Soon I was up alongside the Columbia Gorge again, 

and branched  onto Historic Hwy 30 the old gorge road....for access to some great waterfalls. 
There was a combo hike to Elowah and Upper McCord Falls I opted to do it but man it was hard!!

Historic Oneonta Tunnel

The trail to the falls, combined round trip was 3.8? and mostly uphill---must have had 7 switchbacks on that Upper McCord trail...here is the Elowah Falls

And the Upper McCord I stopped at this view point about 1/8 mile away...I had just had it by then..

Both are stunning!!  Here is part of the Upper trail...

By then it was late and I was dead tired so I went back to the main highway...This was the only night I got caught after dark and had to settle on a Motel..I was lucky and got one in Cascade Locks...right across from the Bridge of the Gods and the little motel had the same name...

The other end of the Bridge takes you into Washington State.

NEXT DAY which was Tuesday, Jen, LoL
I had 2 more waterfalls to see and I wanted to see the Bonneville Dam which was right there!!

But that's in the next post!!...I have more photos to upload...I did buy myself a 12 volt battery and a 410 Schumacher  410 Converter...I have no idea how long it will last...SO I will try and get 2 posts done!!

Next UP what day is it really?
Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.