Storms, Volcanoes and Hanging With Friends – Silver Lake, WA

Hoquiam River

Just as we began our southward migration through Washington, the weather turned really bad.  The rainy days continued as we drove down the coast to our planned overnight stop at Hoquiam River, just off the coast in the southwestern corner of the state.  One night turned into six as major storms hit, and we pulled in the slides and dropped the satellite dish to wait it out.  We canceled our stop at Astoria because winds were even worse there, and we were bummed that we missed our favorite fish and chips in the whole world at Bowpicker. We’d been waiting for weeks to have them again – darn!

Hoquiam River
“Baldy” keeps an eye on Hoquiam River during the storm

To keep us entertained and busy, we made a bunch of lumpia for future happy hours.  So when any of you meet up with us down the road be sure to ask about the stash in our freezer!

No campfire in this pit today!

During every break in the weather we drove 20 miles to the beach to hear the pounding waves, breath the ocean air – and buy some more seafood!  When we learned that the Quinalt Casino offered an all-you-can-eat Dungeness crab dinner buffet, we just had to partake in that as well.  It was one of the best casino buffets we’ve had.

Ocean Shores
These hard-core clammers weren’t bothered by the weather or the huge waves
Ocean Shores
That’s an angry sea!
Ocean shores
My only hike for the week

Since we can’t seem to get enough of this crustacean, we bought even more for our own crab feast at home.  I have to admit we did overindulge, but we were trapped in Dungeness crab heaven and I totally blame the storm for it!

We were fortunate that the towns of Hoquiam and Ocean Shores were spared from the brunt of the storm, and the only inconvenience we felt was being cramped with our slides in for several days.

Hoquiam River
We heaved a sigh of relief when the rains stopped

Windy Ridge, Mount St Helens

We resumed our travels and made one last stop in Washington, at Silver Lake.  We got along so well with Bob and Dee Dee at Puerto Peñasco, Mexico last February that we went out of our way to stop by their beautiful property for a visit.  We gladly accepted their invitation to snuggle Betsy into the full hookup site right on their property for a couple of nights.

Where else would we celebrate our first meal together then at an excellent Mexican restaurant, the perfect place to reminisce about good times in Mexico.


Betsy’s looking good parked in front of their beautiful shop – and the price was right!

Bob and Dee Dee live near Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, which we visited in 2012.  But this time they graciously drove us around to the northeast side of the volcano, often referred to as the Windy Ridge side.  It lived up to its name on this cold and blustery day.

Windy Ridge Loop
We watched a helicopter haul cut boughs for Christmas decorations and drop them near a waiting truck

The drive to Windy Ridge is a winding trek through the blast zone, and is the best location from which to view the devastation of the eruption that occurred on May 18, 1980.  We saw clear evidence of the blast’s full impact.  And despite the biting wind we climbed hundreds of steps up the hill to one of the best vantage points around.

Windy Ridge Trail
We read that there were 361 steps to the top

Views from the summit of Windy Ridge trail:

Looking down
Looking directly into Mount St. Helen’s crater just five miles away
Pumice Plain
A pumice plain created by ash and pumice that flowed from the crater
Spirit Lake
Spirit Lake’s immense floating forest left from the 1980 eruption
Mount St Helen
Blasted trees have remained untouched since the eruption
Mount Saint Helen
Thanks Deedee for capturing our wind blown ‘do’s

It might have been a gray day, but we were fortunate to get such clear views of the volcano and surrounding mountains:

Mount Adams
Mount Adams stands 32 miles to the east
Mount Hood
Mount Hood is the tallest mountain in Oregon, and we could see it from 62 miles away
Mount St Helens
The foursome with Mount St. Helens in the background

We had a wonderful time and really enjoyed Bob and Deedee’s hospitality.  Thanks guys, see you at Puerto Peñasco next February – the first Margarita is on us!




  1. You certainly had some intense weather, but looks like you made the most of it. That’s a huge stash of lumpia! I can’t believe we missed out again. 😦 Looks like a fun time with good friends and a beautiful hike on Windy Ridge—I like your new hairdos created by Mother Nature.

  2. Now that is a ton of lumpia for sure.
    I wish we would have done more research and found the Windy Ridge trail. What a gorgeous view. The photo of you two with Mount St. Helen in the background is awesome.

  3. Sorry your weather was so grey, but you did a great job making the most of it and kept that beautiful smile brighten the days:) Wish we were closer to help with lumpia eating. Great job, Steve! Maybe it will last til Feb!!!???

    What a sweet spot at your friends! Love the views of the floating mountains! Chilly and windy but gorgeous!!

  4. Beautiful mountains for sure…and I love the windy “do’s”. Rainy days and cooking just seem to go together…of course reading and napping have to fit in there somewhere !

  5. Nice post and stormy beaches look very dramatic. It’ll be razor clam season there soon. I was amazed at the crowds of people who show up on the mud flats to dig up the big critters. Not bad eating too.

  6. Oh my, those crabs. How delicious. Almost worth the storm and being stranded. That’s some fine RV spot your friends supplied. Great pictures of the mountains, you guys and the 4 of you. Meeting such great people makes me want to do your caravaning thing. Obviously you liked it if you are going back in 2017.

  7. So, You have me curious…. is there a windspeed at which you pull in your slides? I’ve been kind of schizo about when I do it and wonder about other RV’ers practices….

    Great post as usual.

    Going to have to look up a recipe for lumpia.

    • Hi Peter,
      Not really a particular windspeed, but more whatever wind makes our slide toppers flap around, and that depends a lot on how the coach is facing into the wind. It’s hard to sleep with those toppers flapping, and it doesn’t do them any good to get beat up like that. So usually we put them in when they start flapping, but if a big storm is coming we just do it in advance. Also, sideways-blowing rain will usually get into a slide, no matter how well it’s sealed. At least that’s our experience.
      Hope you have nice weather down there in Texas this winter!

      • Steve, thanks for the comeback. We were a couple spots over from you two years ago at Galveston Island SP, and we both ended up with slides retracted during that horizontal rain. I’m kind of schizo about when I do it. But for the past year we’ve been so confined in the middle of forests that we haven’t had to even think about retracting. NOw that we are back in S. Tx the question comes up again.

        Cheers, and have a great winter!

  8. You made me miss the PNW! We have stayed at that same park in Hoqiuam. It is beautiful there. Oh my the CRAB! Miss that too. Looks delish. Had a neighbor when I was pregnant with our daughter that would make me lumpia. I craved it, so yummy!! Keep on having fun you two…..

  9. Oh my husband would’ve loved to be with you in Crab Heave! Even with the storms looks like you had some fun. Always fun to meet up with friends too!

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