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

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Mount Adams

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!


Next up:  Beautiful Bend, OR


Majestic Mount St Helens-Washington


32 years ago on May 18,1980 the eruptions of  Mount St Helens  changed the whole landscape in the surrounding area in an instant. When we went there to view her beauty, the destruction is still clearly visible, especially the blasted trees that remained untouched.   Mount St Helens looked so majestic, serene, and represents something of true awe and beauty, yet underlying is something potentially catastrophic. I stood  there and observed it with immense respect for nature itself.

Our photo op

Our photo op with Majestic Mt St Helens as background

Entering the blast zone on our way to Johnston Ridge Observatory  replanted trees can be seen along the highway for miles which was part of the regeneration project. The tree groves are marked by the year it was planted and the year it will be harvested.

Regenerated Forest

Sections of the forest where dates of when trees are regenerated and when to be harvested

Mt St Helen

The bridge is a landmark signaling our entry to the blast zone

Johnston Ridge Observatory , considered  the crown jewel of Mt St Helen is located at the end of Highway 504 East and is at the center of the blast zone. This is where you can really be near and be of awe when you see the volcano which is only 5.4 miles away.  You can spend hours at the visitor center reading eyewitness stories, the events that happened weeks leading up to the eruption and scientific and geologic facts. Everything you would want to know about the activity before and after the eruption. It was very informative and well done. It was worth the drive up there.

Mt St Helens

How Mt St Helens face changed

Mount St Helen

The valley created where mud and lava flowed

Mount St Helen

Steve tried hard to spot an Elk but it was too late in the day for us to see them.

Mount Saint Helen

This is a 32 year old blasted tree that is still untouched

Mount St Helen eruption

How trees were blasted

Blasted trees

Trees 32 years after the eruption are left untouched

Story of regenerating the forest

Story of regenerating the forest


Devastation remains with growth emerging

Panoramic view of Mt St Helens

Panoramic view of Mt St Helens