Spring Road Trip, Days 5 & 6 – SF to home
Day 5 – The weather in San Francisco had been cold and rainy and I was anxious to get on the road again. I headed out, thinking the rest of California would be OK, weather wise. I thought wrong. I wanted to visit Yosemite National Park, but the road through the park is still closed for the winter and it’s socked in anyway. So, I left the San Francisco Hostel at Fisherman’s Wharf and Fort Mason behind. It’s a pretty neat hostel, all the except the bed. Oh well.
I drove north, thinking I might try Crater Lake in Oregon. As I neared Medford, I checked the weather and Crater Lake web cam on my iPhone and it’s socked in too. So, I kept heading north. The weather finally started to clear up a bit in northern Oregon, it was the first blue sky I had seen in a few days.
I called the Portland Hawthorne Hostel but they were full up, so I tried the Portland Hostel and they had one bed available so I got it and arrived about 9:00pm and got settled in for the night. Nothing too exciting to report.
Day 6 – Got away early and headed north again. At Woodland, WA, I saw a sign for the Chamber of Commerce and Mt. St. Helens info, so I stopped. After talking with the very helpful Virginia, I decided to take a chance and try it. I kept going north on I5 and exited at Castle Rock and headed toward the mountain. It had been 25 years since I saw it. Back then, the surrounding area was still completely devastated. All the trees were striped clean and laid out in one direction like toothpicks and a very fine powder covered the ground and there was no vegetation to speak of.
Today, there’s lots of vegetation including trees. Congress had designated about 60% of the blast zone as a monument and so no salvage or planting could take place in that area. Yet, it is beginning to thrive. Outside the monument area but still inside the blast zone, planting was allowed and it’s strange to see mountain sides covered with trees, all of uniform height. There’s still plenty of snow this time of year above 2500 feet and the views were spectacular. The mountain was unobstructed and there was some blue sky even. On the way up, I stopped at a view point and saw a young couple admiring the view. I overheard them talking about their current lack of a camera, so I offered to take a couple of shots of them in front of the mountain and email them to them and they took me up on it. A very nice couple, she from Dallas and he from Chicago, both recently relocated to Portland and are just exploring and marveling at the Pacific Northwest, just as I did those oh so many years ago. I envy them.
After a nice visit to the mountain, I headed north again and arrived home around 6:00pm. Spring Road Trip over. Now, I have to figure out what I’m going to do with the rest of my life.