I have lots to tell you about. We drove from Vancouver to Seattle to visit the Space Needle. It was interesting but the view from the Willis Tower was better and higher. From the Space needle we drove to Arlington Washington to spend the night and left early the next morning for our trek up to Mount St. Helen’s. (part of the Cascade mountains) Now this is worth a visit!
The park is free except for the observatory at the very top; however, you do not need to go there is the mountain is quite visible from many of the turnouts even on a cloudy day, which we had. There was a free lecture giving the details of the eruption in 1980. If you were born in the 50’s or early 60’s you most likely will remember this memorable event. I recall most of it, but interestingly, did not recall that Harry Truman (US president) died at the top of the mountain in his home near Spirit Lake. He refused to evacuate. The 1980 eruption literally changed the landscape of the north side of the mountain and up to this day, there is a huge crater that fills up with matter and has at various times, erupted slowly (in 1988 and 2004) Currently, there is a huge “bubble” or dome, as it is called, that is showing activity. However, it is not easy to predict when it will erupt again!
The scenery going up the mountain takes your breath away; the mountain is surrounded by an ice shield which from a distance looks blue. The drive is a bit harrowing given the winding roads and few side barriers. There are lots of bridges to cross and when you are able to view the road ahead, it is definitely filled with sharp curves, up and down. We totally enjoyed the experience and would advise that if you ever get the chance, you should visit.
From Mount St. Helens we took highway 5 south to Longview and then took a state route to the west to drive the 101 which is the Pacific Coast Highway. This road begins in Tumwater Washington (where we spent the night) and goes all the way to California. It is 2500 km long and it is one of the most scenic roads I have ever been on. Most of the highway gives you a view of the Pacific Ocean.
There are so many small ocean side towns with so much to see and do. We stopped in Seaside and went down to the ocean very early on Sunday morning. I began talking to the many locals who were there to catch razor clams (in low tide) and was fascinated with their method. The clam gun (see picture) is used to suck the poor clams from deep in the sand in about 1 foot of water.
We are now in Lincoln City Oregon for two days. We are leaving for Newport about 40 miles away to see the sea lions (in their natural habitat) and otters. Did you know that this area is filled with Puffin birds? I have always thought the only place for these strange looking birds was Newfoundland. So, need to go. Til next time.......................
I will post some pics later.
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