Friday, October 22, 2010

Back to Lower 48

Days 61-62
I woke up in Victoria early morning in search of the Ferry to the US.  I asked for some street side help and was accidentally sent to the ferry terminal that takes you back to Vancouver on the mainland.  I turned around, got lost some more (since my GPS was still dead) and found the ferry terminal to Port Angeles just in time to catch the 10:30 AM ferry.  I passed out until some rolling waves woke me and then read for while.  It had been over a month and a half since I was back in the lower 48 and in a way it was relaxing.  It was nice not to have to convert cents/litre gas rates or worry about the Canadian dollar having more power than the US causing me to spend more money than I thought, or the fact that in Victoria a six-pack of beer was $11.

I changed my oil, refueled the car, and myself at the best Chinese cuisine in Washington and drove to Olympic National Park.  I should preface my time in Washington by saying that you would need a lot more than a couple hours at each park to get to know it.  I dislike it when people say I have "done Yellowstone" or Europe because its impossible to see it all, instead what small glimpse I got of these parks in Washington and the rest of my trip for that matter, has been a nice teaspoon of beauty.
View from car
Montains in Olympic
Olympic Natl. park was great because huge cedars grow up to the hill tops.  Then as you ascend on the Hurricane Road you come to another mountainous plateau that are mostly sharp and snow blanketed.  One horseshoe bend reminded me of the road to get to Portillo in Chile.  I spent some time near the top before heading on to Mount Saint Helens and noticed how incredibly quiet the wilderness can be.

Dinner by the lake
That evening I made it to a lake in southern Washington and camped out for the night.  In the morning I ran for a bit and did some ab-workouts to bite the cold away.  Nearly two hours later I came to THE Mount St. Helens.  A family friend of ours grew up loving it and now I can see why Steven was so amazed.  In 1980, 1/4 of the mountain exploded horizontally and then erupted burying millions of trees within twenty miles, the debris snapping them by the trunks for another thirty miles, and singeing them for twenty miles beyond that.  Whats crazy is that the volcano is still active so there is a dome inside the crevase that was formed that grows daily from the vertical growth of magma.  I watched a video from the late 1980s where the dome's growth oscillated from a 1/4" per hour to dump truck loads in seconds.  Only with binoculars could one see that in places the dome was smoking!
Mount St. Helens
From St. Helens I drove to Portland to see Reid's parents.  I made it to their beautiful home in time to shower and watch his sister, Claire play soccer.  It was the first game I had watched live in a while and playing under the lights brought back some memories.  It was great to see Nancy and Dave since I had not seen a familiar face in a while and we caught up at their home over dinner.  Later that night, I chilled with Lee, who I studied abroad with in Chile, and we had a couple drinks and laughed a ton remembering living in LCL.
Sunset in Portland

1 comment:

  1. Nice pic. I definitely recognize that intersection.