The Olson's Retirement RV Adventures travel blog

The Hood Canal along Hwy 101.

More Hood Canal.

Winery along Hwy. 101

Campsite at Woodland Shores Campground.

Blackberries all along the river. We picked a bowl full.

A spike deer at a rest stop.

Swift Reservoir.

Mt. St. Helens in the distance.

Another view.

Valley where lava flowed.

Scenery on the way.

Information board.

Pictures of the eruption.

The destruction from miles away.

The old and the new.

Mt Rainer in the distance.

The slow recovery.

East end of Spirt Lake with floating logs from 1980.

Mt Adams in the distance

West end of Spirit Lake with more logs.

Mt. St. Helens in the distance.

Getting closer.

Up close.

The crater.

What used to be a part of Spirit Lake in front of...

The disaster for miles.

Another not so good shot of Rainer while leaving.

We had Mount St. Helens on our list of 'must see places' when we were planning this trip. Today we drove from the Peninsula to Woodland, WA and set up camp for a couple nights.

We had seen Mount ST. Helens a couple years after the eruption. It was an experience that we have talked about for years. They had just opened a route up to the Spirit Lake area. It was a rough road still covered with ash. The view points were temporary posts with pictures and info of what had happened at that spot. There were forests of trees laying dead in a uniform ridge along the mountainside. It looked as if Mother Nature had drawn a line and trees fell to that line and the rest were undisturbed. We drove through river beds of suet and ash. It has always stayed with us as someplace we wanted to revisit.

We took the drive up to Windy Point so we could retrace our last route. This time there were paved highways, designated view points and rest areas. The drive was a windy hairpin climb. What we saw this time we did not see then was GREEN. The forest is coming back. There is definitely evidence of the 1980 eruption. Now you can observe plants and animals thriving in the forest. Years of snowfall is filling the lake and new glacier are forming. It has taken 3 decades and the change is slow but also phenomenal.

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