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Exploring the Great Northwest! - Part 2

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  • harmonetreporter@yahoo.com
    Thursday morning we woke up to heavy clouds and cool weather...drat! We had planned to explore the Mount St. Helens area barely an hour away, and regretted not
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2002
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      Thursday morning we woke up to heavy clouds and cool weather...drat! We had
      to explore the Mount St. Helens area barely an hour away, and regretted not
      driving up there
      the night before, when the weather was clearer. But a plan is a plan, so we
      packed up and
      headed north a bit and stopped at several observation posts and official
      sites on the road
      leading to the Mount St. Helens summit. In spite of the low clouds the view
      was still spectacular,
      and the drive through the mountains and over the huge ridges was both fun
      and awe-inspiring.
      We drove out as far as we could, about 50 miles along the single roadway
      leading out to
      the Cold Water Ridge and Johnston Ridge Observatories, the closest places
      we could get to
      view the incredible change in the landscape caused by the eruption of Mt
      St. Helens on May
      18, 1980 (and I still got married three days later! Hmmmm). All along the
      way we passed huge
      tracts of land where Weyerhauser had spent decades carefully harvesting and
      trees, with signs posted along the roadway noting areas that had been
      through first and
      second harvests, young evergreens shooting skyward that had been planted in
      1983 and
      beyond. It was clear that logging and the lumber industry are simply huge
      here, and it was
      also nice to note the conservation and care in practice to preserve the
      wilderness and
      maintain the investment in the area's future.

      I can't explain all about the Mt St Helens eruption and the devastation it
      caused the area,
      you just have to see it to believe it. This huge, huge mountainous volcano
      finally erupted,
      causing the entire north side of the mountain to shear off, sending
      millions of tons of rock,
      mud, snow, lava down into the surrounding valleys and rivers, the blast of
      the eruption
      flattening trees and killing off wildlife for miles around. We still saw,
      20 years later, the
      remaining evidence of the blast, with whole rivers having been filled in
      with mud and
      run-off, now finally blooming back to life with new growth and the influx
      of animals once
      again. It was incredibly humbling to think of the power that Nature still

      After our fabulous trip to see the volcano, we headed back along the
      mountain road
      and picked up I-5 again, heading north into Seattle for a couple of days.
      We actually
      stayed in Bellevue, just across the water from downtown Seattle, which was
      and still got us into the heart of the city in only a few minutes.

      More later!

      Steve Tremper
      (919) 224-1830
      ---------------------- Forwarded by Steve Tremper/Raleigh/IBM on 07/01/2002
      12:12 PM ---------------------------

      Steve Tremper
      07/01/2002 12:11 PM

      To: bbshop@egroups.com
      From: Steve Tremper/Raleigh/IBM@Tivoli Systems
      Subject: Exploring the Great Northwest! - Part 1

      Hi Gang -

      While I am not officially "Harmonet Reporting," I thought I would try to
      send a few thoughts
      out to y'all as I have time...bringing the family out to Oregon from North
      Carolina was a big
      financial decision, but we decided it was important to get out here and
      explore part of the
      great USA that we've never been to. And we are having a great time so far!

      We flew out from Raleigh on Wednesday the 26th, changing planes in Phoenix
      (didn't see
      any black smoke clouds from the forest fires, but I'm sure they were not
      far away) and got
      to Portland in the early afternoon. The best decision we made was in
      upgrading our rental
      car to a Ford Escape, a mini-SUV type vehicle that was fun to drive and
      perfect for climbing
      the mountains around the Portland/Seattle area...plus carrying our huge

      No sooner had we arrived in Oregon than we LEFT the state...heading north
      across the
      Columbia River and into Washington State, a couple of hours north to Kelso,
      where we
      relaxed and later took a little drive out in the countryside to get a look
      around. There were
      lumber and logging trucks everywhere, and huge stacks of logs all over the
      place. The
      Douglas and Noble firs were a wonderful change from the North Carolina pine
      we have
      been so used to...and the weather was gorgeous, in the mid 70's, low
      humidity, a little
      cloudy but still lots of blue sky...amazing! We thought we'd be huddling
      under ponchos
      the whole time.

      We crashed for the rest of the day and relaxed in the hotel pool, and were
      falling asleep
      while the sun had barely gone down...that three hour difference is
      significant! It was just
      after 9:00pm, but to us it was midnight! And we had been up since 5:00am in

      More later!

      Steve Tremper
      (919) 224-1830

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