Friday, September 14, 2018

Mount St. Helens (Post 3) / Norway Pass Trail - #SaturdaySnapshot

The highlight of my overnight hiking trip with the Auburn Senior Activity Center was the hike up the Norway Pass Trail. The operative word here is "up." Not steep but relentless. However, the magnificent views were worth the trek. FYI: Our group consisted of ten women, including two senior center representatives. 
[Click on photos for a closer look.]


Ready to go.

Along the trail we snacked on huckleberries. I would have been afraid to munch on wild berries, but our knowledgeable leaders knew which ones would be okay to eat. These were perfectly ripe and sweet. Within minutes our fingers were stained blue.




On this beautiful day we could see both Mount Adams and Mount Rainier, two volcanoes in the Cascade Mountains.

Mount Adams on the horizon
The snow-capped crest of Mount Rainier peeking over the hilltops
Dead trees from the 1980 eruption still cover the hillsides surrounding Mount St. Helens, along with new growth of trees and wildflowers.



Bleached remains of trees on the hillside that were mowed down 
by the volcano's blast

When I got tired or out of breath, I set a goal of walking to a certain tree or clump of flowers on the path ahead and then would stop there to catch my breath. In this way, I made it to the top.


Almost there!
Here's the magnificent payoff: a million dollar view of Mount St. Helens and Spirit Lake. Perfect place to stop for lunch, isn't it?


The white area on the lake's surface is a mat of trees blown down during the volcano's eruption. (Curious? You'll find more about this HERE.)

A before-and-after photo by the U.S. Geological Survey is posted on the "PBS News Hour" website - HERE.

The distance between the Johnston Ridge Observatory and the Norway Pass Trailhead isn't far... as the crow flies. The map below shows the route by car. The blue patch on the map, between the Johnston Ridge Observatory and Norway Pass, is Spirit Lake.

Thanks for going along with me on my visit to Mount St. Helens. I'll post a few more photos next Saturday.







Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads. 
To participate: 
Post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on West Metro Mommy Read's website (link: HERE) Photos can be old or new and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Mount St Helens (Post 2) - #Cispus Learning Center - #SaturdaySnapshot

Ten women (eight seniors and two leaders) from the Auburn (WA) Senior Activity Center recently spent three days and two nights at the Cispus Learning Center. It served as our home base for visits to the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument and hikes in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Kind of like summer camp!
(See last week's post about Mount St. Helens's Johnston Ridge Observatory: HERE) 
(Click on photos to enlarge.)


Our cabin ("Alder") could accommodate several dozen people, but our group was the only occupant. We had more than enough shower stalls, sinks, toilets, and beds. We even had plenty of room for line dancing. Everyone brought their own bedding and snacks (and even a couple of bottles of wine.) 


The Cispus staff provided breakfast, sack lunches (to take on our hikes), and dinner. Meals were served family style in this large dining hall. During our stay, we shared the facility with one other group, and they only stayed one night. Can you imagine this area filled with groups of kids? 


Perfect setting for an evening stroll around the grounds with a few of my fellow hikers. The weather was gorgeous--cool at night and just right during the daytime with lots of sunshine. After the first night, we had the whole facility to ourselves.


Wispy clouds greeted us one morning.


Next week I'll post photos from our hike on the Norway Pass Trail. The views of Mount St. Helens and Spirit Lake from that viewpoint were magnificent.






Info about Cispus Learning Centers HERE



Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads. 
To participate: 
Post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on West Metro Mommy Read's website (link: HERE) Photos can be old or new and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Mount Saint Helens #Hikes (Post 1) - #SaturdaySnapshot

This past week I spent three days and two nights in the Mount St. Helens area of Washington state. The adventure was organized by the Auburn (WA) Senior Activity Center and included transportation, lodging, and guidance on several hikes. We had a great time. I took so many photos that I'll post about this getaway for the next several weeks. 

Today's snapshots are from the Johnston Ridge Observatory in the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. First, we saw an informative video and exhibits about the volcano's 1980 eruption and the devastating aftermath. Scientists are observing the mountain's renewal without interfering in any way... a case of letting Nature take its course. 
[Click on photos to enlarge.]

These panels tell the stories of some of the casualties, as well as the survivors.



It's hard to believe much of this barren area was once a thriving, old-growth forest.



The top of Mount St. Helens was obscured by clouds when we visited the observatory. However, the destruction caused by the eruption is evident. 


Now, thirty-eight years after the eruption, weathered tree-sized logs provide proof of the strength of the blast. Some had rocks embedded in them.




A few women from our group took a short hike in the Mount Margaret Back Country area.


The clouds lifted the next day and we got a good look at Mount St. Helens and Spirit Lake from the Norway Pass Trail. I'll post those photos and more in the coming weeks.

Thanks for stopping by!







Links to more info:
Johnston Ridge Observatory
Johnston Ridge Observatory - Fees, etc.
Mount St. Helens Hikes

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads. 
To participate: 
Post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on West Metro Mommy Read's website (link: HERE) Photos can be old or new and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online.


Friday, August 24, 2018

Skookum Flats / Tipsoo Lake #Hike - #SaturdaySnapshot

Sometimes when plans have to be changed, the alternative ends up being just as much fun! Yesterday, the senior center had a hike scheduled for the Tipsoo Lake / Naches Peak Loop area of Mount Rainier National Park. However, as our van neared that elevation, clouds of smoke billowed in from wildfires raging elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest. Here's what that looked like. (Click on photos to enlarge.)



We did take the easy walk around Tipsoo Lake, and I captured the eerie scene. The temperature was 39 degrees! 





We all agreed it wouldn't be healthy to take a strenuous hike in smoky air (and besides, we wouldn't be able to see the beautiful scenery on the Naches Peak trail) so we went to a lower elevation and hiked on the Skookum Flats Trail.



Cleaner air, warmer weather, and a new trail for me. Sometimes things work out just fine!

If you're curious about the spectacular views from the Naches Peak Loop Trail, you'll find photos from last autumn's hike here: Naches Peak Loop Trail








Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads. 
To participate: 
Post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on West Metro Mommy Read's website (link: HERE) Photos can be old or new and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online.