Washington State

Trip Start Aug 25, 2008
Trip End Sep 2008

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Where I stayed
Cowlitz Campground

Flag of United States  , Washington
Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ken, Norma and I spend some more time this morning visiting before I leave to continue north.  I head on up I5 to Portland where I look up my friend Frank.  We originally met at a motorcycle event about four years ago and discovered that, not only do we have motorcycles in common but we also have a similar work background.  Frank is one of those people it's hard not to like.
We sit out on his front porch, enjoy the day, catch up with each other a little and I take advantage of his knowledge of local roads and motorcycles to discuss my route north.  He has some recommendations and offers to ride with me.
We leave his home and go past Multnomah Falls on the I84.  This has to be one of the most beautiful falls around.  We cross the Columbia River into the state of Washington at the Bridge of the Gods and I watch a barge through the metal grating of the bridge as it navigates the Columbia.  On the other side, we follow a wonderfully twisty two lane road up into the mountains that skirts along the east side of Mt. St. Helens.  It's hard to believe it's been 28 years since it erupted.  Frank tells me that, due to the heavy snows this last winter, the road that leads up to Mt. St. Helens is still closed.  To this southern California boy, that's amazing.   This is the end of August and the road is still closed due to snow!  That probably explains the fact that when I reach the closest point to Mt. St. Helens it's only 46 degrees F.  I brought along electric clothing but I'm not wearing it because I didn't expect it to get this cold this early in the trip!
Frank and I part company at an overlook with a great view of Mt. St. Helens, the top of which is shrouded in clouds.  He heads back home to Portland and I continue north enjoying being off the freeway as the bike does its ballet through dense forest and I try to keep a sharp eye out for deer; deadly animals when they leap in front of a motorcycle.  It's dusk and this is prime time for deer to be out.
I'm a little apprehensive about finding a place to spend the night since it's Labor Day weekend and most campsites have been filled.  I pull into a National Forest Service campground but make a quick U turn when I spot the "campground full" sign.  I continue on through the town of Randle and just west of Randle I check out a campground a few miles south of Highway 12 - the Cowlitz Campground.  They initially tell me they only have RV sites with hookups but after verifying I'll only be there one night and that I'm alone (not the advance party for a large group of motorcycles) I take their last open tent spot which is only available for the one night.  It's an absolutely beautiful spot as you can see from the attached picture.
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graybeard on

Re: It sounds like so much fun!
Thank you, Joyce! You're certainly right that there isn't much of a need for electric clothing in So. Cal. I'm sure grateful for it on this trip, though. Thanks for you prayers. God has been good to me.


Linda Davidson on

I have family in Portland, and Vancover Wa. I was able to see Mt. St. Helens a couple of times now and both times were beautiful clear days. Bluest ski I have ever seen. I loved Multnomah Falls. It was Bob's last vacation and he had a great time.

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