North to Alaska: Mt. St. Helen’s and More

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Elk dotted the hillside. We counted 10.

The kids were not all that excited to get another early start. After all, the Mount St. Helen’s visitor center didn’t open until 10. Still, I convinced them we should get on the road and boy were they glad we did. There was a drizzle most of the drive but we had the road to ourselves so could drive our own pace and we could stop in the middle of the road when good photo ops occurred. As we looked out over the view point we noticed a small herd of elk just on the ridge next to us. The elk watched us but were busy munching on branches and knew we posed no threat. Then around the corner as Rebecca needed a picture of the lava flow we spotted a giant herd. Most were lying down, waiting for the rain to let up. Then around the next corner one lone elk was just standing in the marsh eating away. We realized how fortunate we were when we drove back and did not see any of the herds.

I remembered when St. Helen’s erupted but about all I really remembered was that many people died, most from the terrible fast flooding, and that if the eruption had happened to the south, the city of Vancouver, WA would have been right in the blast zone. (A good reminder not to live in the shadow of an active volcano.) This is the closest we have been to a recent volcano and its impact on the landscape was stunning. When people talk about the human impact on our environment I think about how insignificant our actions are compared to just one volcano.100_1220

Oh, say, I wanted to remind those who qualify for the Federal Access cards, whether through disability or as a senior citizen, Matthew’s pass has gotten us in to all of the National Parks and other federally run centers. Hey, it’s your tax dollars at work. If you know someone who might be eligible be sure to tell them to sign up.

This evening we had a mini reunion with two more of my high school friends. We had great fun reminiscing and remembering our annual pumpkin pie fundraiser program we worked through the FHA. Thanks, Mrs. Wilson, for teaching us how to make yummy pies.

At dinner we all had to laugh when my friend Nikki and her husband told us their 17 y/o son didn’t want to come because there wouldn’t be any cute girls…and when they met Rebecca they instantly took her picture and sent it so Eli could see what he missed.

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Friends from Sitka High… yes, it was a few years ago.

day 6

Friday: Seattle, sun, more fun, and yea! Dad is joining us.

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