our departure from mount rainier marked a crazy whirlwind week of travel, taking us from rainier to salt lake city by the end of the week. our first stop on the itinerary was a two day visit to mount st. helens.
the travel day from rainier to mount st. helens wasn’t too long, but the day was sort of overcast and foggy (as it seems to often be in the pacific northwest). so, we stopped in at a visitor center, to learn a bit about the history and geology of the area and get our bearings for possible activities. there was a pretty cool exhibit, detailing the 1980 explosion of this giant volcano. first up, going inside the volcano.
on our second day, even though the weather was looking not very promising, we drove up to the mount st. helens observatory, in the hopes that at some point, the clouds would part and we would get a glimpse of the remaining crumbles of the mountain. upon arrival, this was the scene.
we watched both videos, one about the actual explosion and one about the growth in the area every since. they were both pretty great, but we especially liked the one about the explosion. it had a lot of cgi effects, mixed with actual footage, making it seem like we were actually there. we also attended a ranger program, where we learned that the water in the rivers got so hot, that fish were jumping out of it, in an attempt to escape. (spoiler alert: they died. but new fish eventually made it back to the area). anyways. this ranger book was much less stressful and the kiddos scored yet another badge and are now full fledged mount st. helens experts.
so. our mount st. helens time was a raving success. well. a success anyways. and sparked a new interest in volcanoes for theannababy, who has been reading up on them every since. back at camp, we packed it all up and prepared for a LONG travel day to our next destination (crater lake). even though the trip was long, we still had to kill some time so we didn’t beat derek to the campground, so we made plans to meet up with my cousin in vancouver again.
we went back to her house for a bit. watched the bills game. made a quick run to costco. and then hopped back in the car to finish the LOOOONG drive.
as i was driving, i remembered from on our way up, that in springfield, there’s a simpsons mural, so i knew we had to make an ever so slight detour to take a look. my kids aren’t really simpsons fans, but i grew up on the show, so they obliged me and took a pic. the mural is a nod by matt groening, acknowledging that springfield oregon is the “real springfield” that the cartoon calls home.
soooooooo. finally, we got back on the road. and like 3 hours later found ourselves at crater lake….
stay tuned for details.