Mt St Helens, Cape Disappointment and Mt Hood

We left Vancouver on October 1st, and headed south to Mount St Helen’s National Volcanic Monument for a few days. We stayed at Silver Cove RV Resort, Silverlake, Washington and drove up to visit Mount St Helen’s. Prior to to the 1980 eruption, Mount St Helen’s was the fifth-highest peak in Washington, at 9,677 ft, now the summit is 8,363 ft. The first recorded sighting of Mount St Helen’s was in 1792 by George Vancouver, and he named it for British diplomat, the 1st Baron St Helen. Mount St Helen’s notorious eruption in 1980 was the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the US. Killing 57 people, and 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles of railway, and 185 miles of highway were destroyed. We visited the beautiful Visitor Center and then went on the Harry’s Ridge Hike, 8.5 miles R/T. This trail is the best for getting a sense of the total devastation from the 1980 eruption, and we were blown away by the destruction, as the crater looked so close to us. Then the trail turned to head up to Harry’s Ridge, where we had a view of the crater and Spirit Lake, with logs from the eruption still floating on the lake. It was such a clear sunny day that we could see Mt Adams and Mt Hood in the distance from the top of the Ridge. We returned to the Visitor Center and waited until the full moon appeared in the horizon, great ending to a perfect day. Click on thumbnail to view images

Cape Disappointment and Astoria

The next day we drove over to see Cape Disappointment State Park and to visit Astoria on the coast. Cape Disappointment is a headland located on the north side of the Columbia River on the Pacific Ocean. The beautiful Cape Disappointment Lighthouse is near the mouth of the Columbia River, constructed in 1856, the light was automated on 1973, and still in use today as there are over 106 days of fog, the foggiest area in the US. Again we had a perfect sunny day to walk on the 2-mile beach and get fabulous views of the lighthouse. Then we left Washington and headed to Astoria, Oregon across the Astoria Bridge, spanning the mouth of the Columbia River. At its completion in 1966, it was the longest continuous-truss bridge in the world. We had lunch in Astoria and visited the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park. The Clatsop Fort was the encampment of the Lewis and Clark Expedition during the winter of 1805-1806 after reaching the Pacific Ocean before returning east to St Louis. It took them 3 weeks to build the fort. The original Fort Clatsop decayed in the wet climate of the region but was reconstructed in 1955, it was damaged by fire in 2005, but a new replica was opened in 2006. then we returned to our RV in Washington. Click on thumbnail to view images

Bonneville Lock and Dam

The next day we were going to see the Multnomah Falls in Oregon but they werre closed due to severe forest fires in the area. The highway was now open so we stopped to see the Bonneville Lock and Dam, when constructed in the 1930s, it was the largest water impoundment project of its type in the nation. The structures together complete a span of the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington near the Columbia River Gorge, their primary functions are electrical power generation and river navigation. Click on thumbnail to view images

Mount Hood

Then we drove up to Mount Hood, to visit and have lunch at the Timberline Lodge, a National Historic Landmark, at an elevation of 6,000 ft. Mount Hood is Oregon’s highest mountain, and it is one of the loftiest mountains in the nation based on its prominence. Its highest point is 11,249 ft, and the mountain has six ski areas, totally over 4,600 acres of skiable terrain. I have never skied here but have always wanted to come here, especially to experience the Timberline Lodge, and it lived up to all of my expectations. A beautiful rustic, mountain lodge on the south side of Mount Hood, constructed from 1936 to 1938, it was built and furnished by local artisans during the Great Depression. We would love to come back and hike the Timberline Trail, which circumnavigates the entire mountain, and is a portion on the Pacific Crest Trail. We enjoyed a beer in the Lodge with fabulous views of Mount Hood. Click on thumbnail to view images