Friday, July 24, 2009

Mount St Helens

While camping near Chehalis Washington we realized the last time we visited Mount St Helens was probably around July 1980 after all the destruction. We have some pictures that Dick took back then and tried to find the same site but no luck so we will just have to share all new pictures. Would have loved to see the same location after 29 years.

We ended up going on two different days to visit. The first day the mountain gods decided to hide the top of it in high clouds but the scenery was still spectacular. There are two distinct areas around the mountain. One that all the destroyed trees were harvested and then the area was replanted. The second area was just left for Mother nature to do her thing. The picture above was all cleared and replanted.

Wow, what a site looking down through some of the dead trees into a beautiful valley.

Looking down into a portion of an area that was left to "Mom" to do her thing and in the middle is the new Spirit lake with a huge logjam on one side of the lake. The original Spirit Lake was buried under mud and debris.

A little closer look at that huge logjam in the lake. We wondered if it broke up and shifted around the lake if the wind changed. Anyone need firewood?

Another area that was left to see what will happen. It looks to us like it will take a few more years before it is all reforested. You can see a lot of dead trees standing and blown down.

A little closer look and the results of the damage. Hard to believe its been over 29 years!

Our second trip up the mountain was on a beautiful clear day and we decided to approach it from a different side (the west). This is looking up to the mountain with the Toutle river valley that was completely flooded with mud flows after the eruption. If you blow up the picture and look closely you can see how small the Toutle River is now. This was taken at a lodge while we sat on the deck having lunch. What a view to enjoy a meal by. They took people up in helicopters from this area, but we decided it was just too expensive--we'd just have to see what we could from the ground.

Just another view of the mountain with lots of wildflowers on the side of the hill. Not much left of the mountain after the big bang.

Looking into the remains of the crater with some plumes of steam rising from the inside. There is still some snow from last winter.

We visited Johnston Observatory at the end of the road. During our visit they had a great 20 minute show about the eruption and all the resulting destruction area by area. At the end of the movie a voice came over the speaker asking us to "please remain in our seats", we thought this rather strange as the show was over. The screen was raised at the front of the theatre and then they opened the curtains at the front--the whole wall was glass looking out onto the mountain. Now we understand why they wanted us to remain in our seats.

It's been several blogs since we shared a picture of the two of us. We have to do this to keep our kids happy.

As a parting shot, here is an RV park we did not try and find a site at. We like to park next to the water but this is just a little extreme!
To be continued...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Happy birthday Guy (7/21/1939)

Today is my Big Brothers Birthday, wow 70 years old and still up and running on at least seven of his eight cylinders. He lives in Ephrata and keeps busy with his yard, shop, Ham radio and traveling.

On Saturday the 11Th of this month his daughter in law, with some help from his Son Dante, put together a great BD party for him at Saltwater State Park in Des Moines with lots and lots of family members on both his side and Joan's. It was sure great to see family members that we have not had a chance to share some time with in several years.

The weather was perfect (It rained the next day), the tide was out for the kids to search the beach for creatures. Great planning, Shosh you did a great job and it turned out to be a super party in a great place.

The only way we could get near the cake to get a picture of it was on the back side, so that would be easy, just turn the picture over. At least we got a picture before it was cut.

The birthday boy with his sister, Doll, wondering why the cake is still sitting there and not cut.

Tables were set up and a special table for cards, presents and some very "old" pictures to share.

This is a view of the party and the beautiful backdrop of Puget Sound. Glad it was here as it was 10 to 15 degrees warmer away from the beach.

All these people and just two dogs. That would be Murphy and C C.

Shosh had it "catered" by Costco and really outdid herself on the food. Aunt Doll brought kites for all the kids from her shop in Westport.

Where would we be without another picture of Guy, Doll and Dick. Our baby sister is about 9 years younger than Dick so still has a few years until she retires. That is unless you want to purchase a kite/toy store that comes with a home, garage/shop, Salmon charter boat and office all in one big package. No charge for the plug here Doll.

Not every day we get all 3 sisters together, so here is a picture of Deanna, Debbie and Michelle.

And a parting shot of 3 of the younger generation enjoying each other sitting on a log bridge about 8' from the beach below. Aren't Cousins great?

Happy Birthday Big Brother and we wish you many more!!!
To Be continued...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Visits from Grandchildren

Sorry to have taken so long between posts. We moved from Miracle Ranch to Thousand Trails Chehalis on June 26th. This is our first time at a Thousand Trails park (thanks again, Bud and Marlene), and we picked a good one. It is quite large with over 300 sites, lots of trees, two pools (one just for adults), two halls (family and adult), and lots of activities.

Happy 4th of July! Here is a photo of our flags flying over the rig.
Then our grandkids arrived. First we had Jacob (13) and Molly (almost 12). They live about 60 miles from here, so we drove up and picked them up to bring them back to the campground. Kids will be kids--the fire was fascinating. Here Jacob is attempting to cut a board in two with a hatchet. He said this was the first time he was able to use a hatchet.
He was very persistent! And later he showed Molly how to do it. It took him over an hour with a dull hatchet to finally get throught the piece of wood.

Both Jacob and Molly enjoyed playing with the fire. We had a fire each of the three nights they were with us. And, of course, s'mores. Jacob learned how to build a fire and on the last night he did the fire including cutting all the wood, laying the fire and starting it--and a very good job, too.

And then the pool! They practically lived there during the days. And the weather was perfect.

They spent some time walking with CC and playing with her.

Then a few days after taking Jacob and Molly home we drove back to Spanaway and picked up Maya (10) and Macey (7). Here are these two playing with the fire. We don't think a kid can be by the fire with out trying to burn sticks. They had a ball and no one got burnt.

Unfortunately the weather wasn't quite as good for Macey and Maya's visit, but it got better toward the end. Here they are after having their faces painted.

And swimming. They also spent quite a bit of time in the pool; so much so that they looked like prunes!

Deanna, Darin and Daisy visited us one day while Maya and Macey were here. Daisy also loved the pools. Here she is in the kiddie pool playing with two cups, which kept her entertained for quite some time.

Back at camp all she wanted to do was run up and down the road by our campsite. She loved chasing and getting chased by her cousins!

And here we all are once again around the campfire. Daisy had her first s'more, and you can see pictures of it on Deanna's blog. Nice big campsites but it's about 1 mile from our camp to the main entrance.
To be continued...