After spending the last two days in the RV getting some work done, this morning we finally left Oregon and headed north to Washington.
We arrived at the Mount St Helens visitors center just east of I-5 around noon. Now Mount St Helens is still 35-40 miles away and there's another visitors center there. Actually there were three visitors centers located around the mountain which makes four total. With the National Park system way under funded, why did they build so many?
Anyway, we looked at the displays and watched a short film about the Cascade Mountains along the west coast. The Cascade Mountains include Mt Hood, Mt Rainier, Mt Shasta, and others that are active volcanoes and could erupt anytime. Well this is news! We were just on Mt Hood. I've always thought an active volcano was those pictured in Hawaii with all the Lava flowing out from them, not one of these cool, calm, picturesque snow capped mountains!
After the visitors center, we continued toward the mountain stopping along the way at several of the lookout spots taking in the views and snapping photos. At the end of Hwy 504 is the Johnston Ridge Observatory. From this location you get a good look into the open horseshoe crater where we noticed a steady stream of smoke coming from the center cone. I thought I overheard one of the rangers say it has been doing that since 2004. Could it erupt again soon?
There was another thing that I was very interested in. I had heard about the canyon created by the blast and mudslides from the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens over a 24 hour period. It was similar to that of the Grand Canyon, only smaller in scale. Being a creationist, I don't understand the evolutionary theory of the Colorado River eroding away over millions of years to create the Grand Canyon after the display of Mount St Helens. Even in the visitors center the was one display of another volcano around the world with a horseshoe crater. The theory was that over time the one side eroded. Mount St Helens proved that may not have been the case. Anyway, I'm not a scientist. But that's my opinion.
Tonight we're hanging out in a WalMart parking lot near Chehalis, Washington just off I-5. We'll be heading over to the capital tomorrow and then up to Seattle.
See you back soon,
The Hoffstadt Creek Bridge at 2,340 feet is the longest of the 14 new bridges built for State Route 504.