Monday, July 08, 2013

Day 3 (full version)

Day 3 – Thursday – June 27, 2013

0600 Wake up.  There were loud, long trains rolling through last night.  Loudest and longest was at 3 a.m.  Rain came at about 4 a.m.  Overall a better experience than the first night but there is definitely room for improvement!

0843 On the road.  Bella was up at 6 but Ryan and Felisa slept in a bit.  Mozzarella’s battery is at 3%! Quick, plug him in to the charger!

0849 Waterfalls.  We were going to hike to the falls this morning but it is muddy and steep. We can use the time somewhere else along the road today.

0900 Leaving Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and now our view is ugly construction.

0911 Crossing the river to Washington

0913 Washington – what a big wide river that was.  This really is a gorgeous area.

0914 Publishing a blog update summary of Day 2.

0922 Ft. Vancouver.  Rocco and I took a walk through the apple orchard and past the village while Ron and the kids went through the fort.  They shot sniper fire at us from the tower and then fired the giant cannons.  We did not surive.  So, what else did we learn (besides not to take a walk outside the walls of the fort!)?

Bella – Her name was Rebecca. She came to the fort with her dad, 2 brothers, and 1 sister from Ohio on the Oregon Trail.  Not sure what happened to her mom. She met her husband at the fort Christmas dance and was married at age 14. Her house was the only one to survive a big flood of the river.  She helped take care of her neighbors after the flood.

Ryan – His name was Simon Guille.  His dad, Simon, was a French-Canadian fur trader and his mom, Marie, was a Native American.  His parents were married in the church at the fort in 1845. He did not spend much time in the village.  He travelled with his dad on the river to hunt for furs.

Felisa – Her name was Cecilia Douglas.  She was taught by her dad at a private school.  She was a good writer so she wrote things for others to study from. She knew three languages – English, French, and Cree.  Her dad, James, was the 1st governor of British Columbia.

It was nice to see the fort and the area after reading so many Oregon trail books.


1106 Lunch at Burgerville. “Hot off the Grill”  The food was good. They even had fried asparagus.  Yum!

1143 Back on the road.

1152 1,008 miles so far on this trip.

1158 Where is Vacation Mouse?  He has been hiding under all the stuff in the car.  I think he’s jealous of Rocco who gets to get out of the car at every stop.  We pulled Vacation Mouse out to a more prominent location so he has a better chance of making it out when we stop.

12:09 p.m. Lots and lots of logs down by the river.   Must be on their way out of town.

12:25 p.m. Gas, $3.89/gallon

12:32 p.m. Testing out the power cup charger.  Seems to be working. We are also currently double-charging on the cell charger in the other outlet.  No overnight hotel room re-charges on this trip so we have to do it while we’re driving.

12:37 p.m. Mt. St. Helen’s Visitor Center. What did we learn?

Felisa- March 20, 1980 was the first sizeable earthquake that shook Mt. St. Helen’s prior to the eruption.
Bella – 14 people died and 90 were missing after the eruption
Ryan – Steam coming from the volcano created a tourism boom in the region even though people were warned of an imminent eruption.  Some stayed even after the evacuation was ordered.
Sheila – I had forgotten there was an eruption in 2004.  Only the 1980 eruption stays in my memory. Maybe because it was so much bigger.
Ron – Climbers on Mt. Adam were able to watch the eruption.  Did they think about the fact that they were climbing a volcano also?

Volcanoes seem so prehistoric to me –something that happened a long, long time ago.  It seems weird that there are still active volcanoes today.

1:21 p.m. Leave the visitor center to drive closer.

1:25 p.m. Following the Toutle River.  It is very pretty.

1:36 p.m. Sign says there is no gas or vehicle repair ahead.  Hopefully we won’t need either!

1:53 p.m. Picture stop.  There are great views along this road.  There is a nice Forest Learning Center here that would be fun for a future visit.  I was surprised to see it as I was expecting the usual overlook of just a parking lot and a view.  Current elevation 2,560 feet.

2:01 p.m. Elk Rock viewpoint.  Rocco is becoming less patient each time we stop.  He really wants to get out to see it too but we’re trying to hurry.

2:12 p.m. Old stumps on the hillside – remnants of the volcano blast area

2:20 p.m. Johnston Ridge Observatory. Clouds are definitely moving in.

3:21 p.m. Leaving the observatory. It fogged over completely while we were inside and now we can’t see the mountain.  L The movie was good. Very interesting stories from survivors of the eruption.  Apparently there are dozens of active volcanoes in the world in any given year. Also, I wonder what sort of person wants a job that studies volcanoes?  What are their interests and personalities that lead them to that job?  It can be very dangerous.

3:44 p.m. Forest Learning center for a bathroom break.  This time everyone gets to get out and see the view.  Rocco had to wait in the car up at the observatory since he wasn’t allowed anywhere except the sidewalk and parking lot there.

3:56 p.m. Cow Creek

4:01 p.m. Interesting to see the signs put up by the paper company (Weyerhauser) telling when each area of trees along the road was planted, thinned, fertilized, etc.

4:30 p.m. Coffee stop before we get back on the highway.

5:02 p.m. Mattress Ranch – the mattress store is all decorated as a ranch with a fence and fake animals outside.

5:30 p.m. Drive by the Washington State Capitol building in Olympia.

7:23 p.m. Leaving Shelton, WA after our dinner stop at Smokin’ Mos BBQ.  It was really yummy!  Our dinners were:

Bella – Mac-n-cheese with bacon
Felisa – Chili Mac with cornbread croutons
Ron – Mac-n-cheese with fried okra, fried onions, and hot links
Ryan – Pulled pork and beef sandwich with Carolina hot mustard
Sheila – Western bacon dog made with a kielbasa

7:28 p.m. Back on Highway 101.  The trees are much bigger here than they are down on Highway 101 in Arroyo Grande.

7:34 p.m. Olympic National Forest

7:36 p.m. Purdy Creek

7:40 p.m. Cool mountains in the distance. Must be the Olympic Mountains.

7:50 p.m. Houses all along the bay.  Some of them are built mostly on stilts over the water – barely on land at all.

7:54 p.m. Twanoh State Park.  Looks wet.  Camp fee is $23.  We have loud neighbors but otherwise it is the best campground so far. There is a nice creek running along behind our campsite and just across the road is a rock and shell beach at the sound.

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