After spending a few great days in Seattle, we headed south towards Oregon. On the way we spent a night near Mount St Helens in an absolutely gorgeous old-growth forest campground. The trees were massively tall and well spaced with a thick carpet of pine needles that made everything quiet and serene. The next morning we headed to the MSH visitors center where we found out the the view of the volcano was clear that day. We made the hour and a half trip up to the crater to check it out. The volcano erupted n 1980, taking out the top and an entire side of the mountain and covering hundreds of miles in debris and ash. If you’ve never seen the eruption, check it out here
The crater was snow-covered, which really highlighted the crater-bowl and the new lava cap which has slowly formed over the past 10 years or so. MSH is the only national park which is intended to change for future generations, rather than preserving what is currently there. The park services are doing absolutely NO replanting or rehabilitation of the area, and the whole system is a giant laboratory for studying how nature rebuilds itself after a massive disruption.
After our volcanic adventure, we headed down to Lincoln City, OR, on the central coast, to continue our tour-de-Feldner. We had stayed with Lindsie and her family in Big Sky
and with Jarid and Carmin in Seattle
, now it was on to check in with them and their parents Jim and Karen, while they stayed on the coast. We had such a great time with them in their awesome vacation rental right on the beach. I went running every morning along the packed sand and in the evenings we went for long tidepool walks at low tide. We even spotted some whales off the shore! Friday during the day we went down to Newport, OR which is a great harbor town. We had an amazing seafood lunch at Mo's
and bought a whole albacore tuna right off the fishing boats at the pier. If there is one thing the Feldners do well, it’s cooking! We ate fantastic food the whole time. We also stopped by the Rogue Brewing Co.
for a sampling of their microbrews and house-made “pink” gin (aged in pinot noir barrels for a pink hue). Jim and Karen were excellent hosts and we were so happy that they welcomed us in for a few days.
On Saturday, we went for a really cool hike up to Drift Creek Falls which features a mini-replica of the Golden Gate Bridge over a waterfall. Sasquatch and Jarid came along for the 3-mile loop. The greenery was so bright and lush and the bridge was pretty awesome.