Mount St. Helens

Last weekend I had a rare 3 day break in my work schedule so I drove up to Washington to visit my high school friend, Tim. We went on a hike two summers ago up in Yosemite and wanted to do something similar up on Mt. Rainier in Washington. Last summer there was too much snow so we had to postpone the hike until this summer.

I left work at 6:00pm on Friday and started my drive up to a small town in Washington named Morton near Mt. Rainier National Park. I had originally planned on getting up early on Saturday morning to do the drive, but I thought I’d get a head start on Friday and see how far I could get. As it turned out I was able to get about 8 hours of driving in before I needed to stop and rest. I found a spot in a rest area along the highway and napped for a few hours before resuming my drive. About 4 more hours of driving and I had made it to Morton.

Since I had arrived much earlier than expected and I wasn’t going to be meeting Tim until Sunday morning for our hike I decided to go visit Mount St. Helens. I’d never been to the area before so I was curious to see it.

The weather was perfect for the weekend, but it was a bit hazy. I was able to photograph the mountain, but it was a bit washed out due to the haze. It was still a very impressive sight. I entered the park from the west and made my way to Johnston Ridge Observatory. The observatory is about 6 miles from the crater of the volcano and gave a pretty good impression of what happened back in 1980 when the volcano erupted.

I would have liked to have gone over to the eastern side of the mountain, but it was another hour or so to get there and I had driven enough up to that point so I spent time on the western side of the mountain. I hiked on a few trails near the observatory and then made my way back to Morton to check into my hotel. It’d been a long 48 hours so decided to get to bed early and rest for the next day’s hike.

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September 2012
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