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Monday, May 23 - Mount St Helens, ICR, Chehalis






Now, now and before



Today was the day for Mt St Helens.  That's our picture on the left, with a close-up in the middle photo to see the interior still steaming. On the right is a picture of what the mountain looked like before May 18, 1980.  That's right...nearly exactly 25 years ago.  In fact, on the drive up to the mountain, we stopped at the 7Wonders Museum, associated with the Institute for Creation Research, which had just (Friday and Saturday) had a conference on all the evidence that Mt St Helens has given creationists. We wished we were there for that conference.  We bought a few videos and books. 

It's hard to show in pictures the devastation that this eruption caused. But, you can also see life returning, and the scientists are amazed at how fast that has happened. See the green in these two photos, the first showing the deep deposits of ash on the river plain, in the second the new tree growth among the fallen trees.

Found a Wal-Mart at Chehalis.

Tuesday, May 24 - Fort Townsend, Whidby Island, Ft Casey State Park

Up I5 again, we cut off at exit 104 to take the Hood Bay Rd (Hwy 101).  Oyster companies along the way. We found out, but did not see, that the bay is home to a few orca whale pods, who return every year. We spent a few hours, including lunch at El Serape, in Fort Townsend, before taking a ferry to Whidbey Island. We decided to spend the evening at Ft Casey State Park, just at the ferry landing. Near the shore, we saw an eagle and several deer.

Ft Casey State Park







 Being the day after full moon, the tide was very big, with about a 15-foot drop, some 3.5 ft below normal.   The shore was littered with lots of wood. 

We enjoyed the singing of the white crowned sparrow. Note Mt Rainier behind the bird, and also in front of the ferry.  See, there is a Mt Rainier!
When the tide went out next morning, the water was rushing out rapidly to the ocean parallel to the shore as if the bay was a river.

Wednesday, May 25 - Whidby Island, Mt Baker, rhododendrons







Taking Hwy 20 through Whidbey Island was nice. Several old towns, and drives along the bay.  (Actually, not a bay, but the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which separates Washington State and Vancouver Island). The season for rhododendrons was nearly finished but there still were many, especially in Rhododendron Park.  Crossing Deception pass (on the left) and further down the road, we could see Mt Baker very clearly.  Mt Adams was also visible, but too faint to take a picture.  We got to see all of the major mountains in snow cap.

Deception Pass





We stopped at Seaview RV park in Birch Bay at about 3 pm for laundry, septic dump, battery charge, water fill up, and mail that was forwarded here.   Tomorrow, Canada.

Thursday, May 26 - Hope, British Columbia, Canada

A driving day.  Drove into British Columbia up to Williams Lake (cross at Sumas, WA, east in Trans-Canada 1 to Cache Creek, then north on Hwy 97).  We passed though Hope with its collection of large wood carvings.    Carved by Pete Ryan in 1992-96.

How's this for an RV?

The Fraser river valley was beautiful and always changing as we drove up.  Mostly a deep valley, with very green meadows and mountains everywhere.  We were surprised at the length of this river.

We stopped at Williams Lake at the Stampede Fairgrounds campground.  This city is the biggest in the Caribou region, and the Stampede in July is the biggest in BC.

Very HOT today. High of 88.  Lots of gets dark at 10 pm.

Friday, May 27 - Barkerville, BC

We decided to drive less today.  North on 97 to Quesnel, then a side trip east to Barkerville.  This was the sight of the original gold rush in BC.  Now a provincial park, with over 120 buildings reconstructed to look like the 1870's. Street dramas, guided tours and talks, and lots to see. A sign retells that "the Diller claim produced, in a single day, 102 POUNDS of gold. Bill Diller weighed 240 pounds.  He got more than his weight in gold from his claim.  In fact, his dog weighed 120 pounds, and he had that too. "



 That's the stream all of that gold came from.  Have you got a gold pan?
We are spending  the night at the Barkerville provincial park campground, and plan to see more tomorrow.  Another warm day...over 80 again.  After all of that cool weather in the lower 48, who would have thought...?

About that crock pot meal of May 21.  About 1.5 pounds of meat would have been enough.  We ate of it several times, even then we added another can of potatoes and tomatoes and have had it as soup more than once.  It was best when we bought two small boules of sourdough bread, and scooped them out for soup bowls.





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