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Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens We started noticing logging companies and logging trucks as we crossed the Oregon border into Washington . It was sad seeing these carved up trees stacked by the thousands in lumber yards. It makes you think about all the trees chopped down everyday for our consumption. There goes a beautiful pine tree all for little things like a cardboard coffee holder or a piece of paper that gets thrown away. 

We found our way to Highway 504 which is one of two routes that takes you up to Mount St. Helens. There wasn't much in the way of campgrounds so we kept going along the highway hoping it might connect with the other route, Highway 503, to find some better camp spots. 

As we started winding up the road, the elevation rose, and the sun set. We were traveling further and further into the dark unkown and closer to the volcano.  There were patches of trees that seemed to be missing off the sides of the mountains along us. Some mountain sides had signs that noticed the date the trees were replanted. It was unusual to see such variation along the road, unlike the uniformity of the ancient redwoods which remained untouched.

Finally as we rounded a bend in the road, Mount St. Helens appeared in front of us. It was a spooky sight to see this enormous volcano suddenly in front of us and glowing eriely in the moonlight. No other cars were on the road and no street lights to distract us. It was just a dark mountain road with a sleeping giant at the end.

In the morning we hiked along the a path with a view of the volcano . The path was bare besides small bushes and trees stumps buried under the dirt. The damage of the 1980 eruption was incredible and much more evident than we ever pictured. Hillsides of trees remained knocked down by the force. 

 

 

 

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The Berry Hunt

Oregon Berries Our next stop was Diamond Lake just past Crater Lake . We met up with my aunt Patty, uncle Mike, cousin Katie, and Harry the Dog. Patty and Mike took us on a few waterfall hikes in the area. 

Patty pointed out Thimble Berries and Oregon Berries that lined our hikes. They were both safe to eat so our hikes were frequently interrupted as we stood and plucked ripe red and purple berries out of bushes. 

The Thimble Berry looked like something that could be mistaken for poisoness. I was hesitant to try it, but after Patty told me how to spot them by the leaves, I became more comfortable. They had a grainy texture, a little like a raspberry.

The Oregon Berry tasted like a blueberry, but looked purpler in color. They were all over the place and Patty and Mike noted that they had never seen them so plentiful. Towards the end of the hike, Patty collected a handful to take back to our campsite. The next morning we had delicious Oregon Berry pancakes which were way better than your ordinary blueberry pancake mix!

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Where are Ellen & Jeff