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Published: September 11th 2020
Well, we got up early to a gorgeous morning. Love this campground, as it is very beautiful and peaceful. Of course, being we're the only two parties in the place, it would be peaceful anywhere I guess. After a great breakfast, we got off to an early start at 7:30. Pretty amazing getting John and Diane going this early. This is going to be the longest leg of our trip, taking in two significant areas, Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Ranier.
We started off going East on the Spirit Lake Highway. This takes you to a place called Johnston Ridge, which overlooks the Lava Dome of the Mountain, Spirit Lake, and the wasteland below the mountain caused by the eruption. What was fascinating is that there is still considerable volcanic action going on, with vents spewing white steam all over the mountain. Hard to believe this eruption occurred 40 years ago. Seems like yesterday when we were reading about it in the news. This mountain is located in the Cascade Range, a segment of the "Pacific Rim of Fire", which includes 160 active volcanos. This eruption was the deadliest and most economical destructive volcanic activity in the U.S., killing 57
people, destroying 250 homes, 47 bridges and miles of highway and rail lines. It was unique, as a massive debris avalanche was caused by a 5.1 earthquake. It took 1300' of the top of the mountain and left a 1 mile wide horseshoe shaped crater, when it blew off the whole side of the mountain. We didn't stay too long, as it was a bit chilly, and very windy on the ridge.
Backtracking on Spirit Lake highway, we headed east on Rt 12 towards Mt. Ranier. Along the way, we stopped at a small market, and asked for advice on the best route to see Mt. Ranier at it's finest. So glad we did, as the woman gave us a more scenic route that cut miles off our journey. We headed our again for a place called Paradise Point. The road was EXTREMELY twisting and turning, as well as very narrow. John did a yeoman job keeping up, in spite of Diane's hyperventilating and moaning. To say the views were spectacular does not do the word justice. We had numerous viewings of Mt Ranier, with each one closer and more impressive. Mt Ranier is also an active, volcano in
the Cascade Range. At 14,411' it's the highest mountain in the state of Washington. Surprisingly, it is considered one of the most dangerous volcanos in the world, due to the high probability of eruption in the near future. about 80,000 people and their homes are at risk.
We then settled in for a long drive west to Hoodsport, which is on the Hood Canal, and impressive body of water. The RV park was very nice, with full hookups, but no wifi. Sadly, a number of places here have no cell coverage nor wifi, so if you don't get a blog some morning, that's the reason. We had our traditional happy hour at the picnic table, before enjoying one of Diane's culinary delights, Shepard's Pie. Seeing as how the RV's do not have ovens, (Are you kidding me?), this was a very different Shepard's Pie, but delicious none the less.
Hitting the sack early tonight, as we're headed for the Olymp.ic peninsula in the morning
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