Waterfalls and Volcanoes

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Flag of United States  , Washington
Sunday, October 18, 2009

We dropped our daughter off at the Portland Convention Center and then drove east on Interstate 84 along the Columbia River.  We exited the interstate and took the historic highway past three waterfalls. 

We drove north through the Gifford Pinchot National Forest to the Windy Ridge area of Mount St. Helens. The forest was alive with the fall colors.  At one point, during the drive in the national forest the Wisconsin voice on our GPS said something like "I thought I was going to see a 30 point buck."   Our GPS tried to get us to take a road that was closed by a mound of dirt but we doubled back and found another road that took us to Mount St. Helens.  Using a GPS is great in the city but not that great in the woods.  We used it one time in Nevada on the drive from Elko to Las Vegas and it kept telling us to take the dirt road across the desert.

We were amazed that there were hundreds of trees still floating (or laying)  in Spirit Lake from the eruption 29 years ago.  There were some tree trunks still standing on the surrounding mountains. Some spots  had all the trees gone and others had new growth trees. The falls colors were beautiful on the mountains surrounding the Windy Ridge area. 

After leaving Windy Ridge, we decided to drive to Mount Rainier.  We arrived at the park entrance about 4:30 and got to the Paradise Visitors Center about 5:00.  We looked around and thought to ourselves, "where is the mountain" because it was socked in by clouds.  I was going to be real disappointed if we had driven that far and did not get to see the mountain.  We walked around the visitor center and were getting ready to leave when the clouds started to part and we got to see Mt. Rainier.  It was getting late and decided to drive to Lacey, Washington to spend the night as most the hotels had already closed for the season.  We did drive by another casino on the way but again my husband would not stop.

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