Posts Tagged ‘Mt. St. Helens’


This was my view out the window when I left Portland last Saturday: Mt. Rainier (far left), Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Adams as the sun rises over the Columbia River.


Miss Baby Blue Eyes met me at Richmond International Airport with her brothers and her dad.


Mr. Trouble was full of hugs and mischief.


Mr. Kindergarten wanted his photo op at the Airborne & Special Forces Museum.

I traveled light and I asked that my son not attempt to “entertain” me: this was about visiting, not sight-seeing. As a result, I spent most of my time with small people who felt the need to sit on my lap, comb my hair, run around in large circles in the living room, and squabble over the same things my siblings and I fought over in the 1960’s: “Dad! He’s looking at me!” “Dad! He touched me.” “Dad, She hurt me!”

The one tourist attraction we went to was free and kid-friendly, if your child is like Mr. Trouble. The other two were intimidated at first because the museum is set up to mimic a tour through several battlefields, with the constant sound of machine guns and artillery in the back ground. The sound could not have bothered them: they hear the same sounds from their own home just off base at Fort Bragg. I think it was the wax soldiers in uniform.

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I confess: I took a lot of photos just for my brother and my husband. It was a fascinating exhibit.


It even included the rotor from one of the Blackhawks that were shot down in Mozambique in 1993.

I have a list of places I do want to see next time I visit North Carolina: the Cape Fear Botanical Gardens in Fayetteville and the Carolina Raptor Center in Huntersville.

I discovered I could decompress a little by slipping out onto the front stoop when no one was out there smoking. The humid weather was perfect for just sitting (not too hot, fortunately) and listening to the cicadas and the catbirds (and the pound of artillery and rat-a-tat-tat of machine guns). One day, a man stopped and said there was a dead copperhead in the roadway. I took a photo and have consequently looked it up: it was a corn snake and hardly poisonous. A cat-faced spider was living in the television satellite and she rebuilt her web every night.


This wolf spider came into the garage and visited, too, much to the dismay of several house residents (and my delight, with apologies to my hosts).

I left Fayetteville via Greyhound bus: always an adventure! First, there was Pillow Woman. She had taken up residence on two seats with her belongings, most of which appeared to be pillows. When the bus started up the highway, she climbed atop the stack of pillows so she could see over the heads of the passengers in the row ahead of her. Her counterpart was Smiling Woman, who looked slightly drunken and never quit smiling. She stood for most of the trip, peering over my head to see where we were going. She was a tad bit unnerving.

We pulled off in Petersburg just as I-95 came to a screeching halt. Our bus driver warned us that noone who was traveling through to Richmond could get off the bus as we were behind schedule. Pillow Woman got off. What ensued was a short argument between her and the bus driver (“Ma’am, I am going to leave you. If you go in that building, I will leave you.” “But I want to use the bathroom.” “Ma’am, there is a bathroom on the bus.”). Bus driver won.

We left Petersburg and took back roads while the bus driver asked the nearest passenger if he would please dial 5-1-1 and find out where the accident on I-95 was so we could skirt the tie-up. It took the gentleman five minutes to complete this simple task, and when he finally had 5-1-1 on the line, he leaned forward and asked, “What highway?” I thought my seat partner was going to bust out laughing. (Really? You don’t know what highway we’re supposed to be on? Or what highway was at a dead standstill that we narrowly missed?)

The ride culminated at Richmond with a stuck exit door. It took our intrepid bus driver six attempts to push the broken hydraulic door open so we all could exit the bus. My seat partner just shook his head and told me, “This is so funny!”

I flew out of Richmond yesterday morning. I had to defend my window seat from DFW-PDX, but I held my ground. This HSP introvert desperately needed to stare out that window and attempt to decompress a little.


Mt. Adams (foreground) and Mt. Rainier as I flew in.


Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. Adams – a poetic end to my vacation.

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My husband’s sister and her husband came over to visit us this past weekend. Their 35th wedding anniversary was Sunday (our 34th is coming up on Saturday). I was not there for their wedding, but they were most certainly there for our wedding: for three weeks preceding our nuptials, my future brother-in-law warned me that having an outdoor wedding in June, in Oregon, was asking for it to rain.

I assured him that God would *not* do that to me. I made no alternative plans. It rained buckets every single day from the 18th of May (when Mt. St. Helens erupted) until The Day. It even rained in the morning of The Day. Then the clouds parted, the sun came out, and I had a beautiful outdoor wedding that was only slightly interrupted by 1)an unmuffled car arriving during the service, 2) a dog fight, 3) my niece (and flower girl) announcing (loudly) during the prayer: “Mommy, why you sleeping?”

Believe me when I tell you that my brother-in-law has never forgotten that it did *not* rain on my outdoor wedding. A lot of other things happened, but it did not rain.


They arrived in time for the Stinkin’ Flower blooms. My husband promised his sister a bulb of the Dragon Lily for Christmas. She promised to return it to us C.O.D.


We wanted to take them out to our favorite place to eat: The Highland Stillhouse Pub. It sits right above Willamette Falls, has good service, and there was live music by Beltaine, one of our favorite local Celtic bands. They play a lot of sing alongs.


Yeah, sure. They’re really singing along to “Steppin’ Out, Mary.”


My husband and his older sister.


We invited some Comic Relief to join us. Brian and Chrystal delivered, as always. Brian is the straight man to Chrystal’s one liners. They’re sort of like inviting Harvey Korman and Carol Burnett to dinner. I had to cut Kilt Man out of the photo.

Kilt Man wore his tidee whitees under his kilt, but someone neglected to tell him how he should sit in a kilt. <ahem> Don’t men have to learn “sitting in a skirt 101” like women do???


The Skeptic brother-in-law is still not smiling, 34 years later. Ha! This guy is such a huge softie. I don’t know how he manages the poker face.


One of the benefits of sitting in a pub right above Willamette Falls in the summertime is the turkey vultures. They are just catching the thermals and trying to rise to the height of the bluffs on either side of the river. Kind of ominous, if you’re eating dinner.

After dinner, we crossed Hwy 99E to the Falls overlook. My husband (the able-bodied hiker) decided we should walk down to the cat walk and cross the highway to the promenade, and then back to the car. I’m not sure he was thinking about his sister’s disability, but she powered on and humored him.


I have never walked this far from the main overlook & did not know that Hwy 99E had a name.


The old Blue Heron Paper Mill sits on the site right now. The City of Oregon City is debating what to do with the site. I’d love to go down there and take photographs before they start dismantling things.




Everyone was well ahead of me when I started up the stairs to the catwalk. This beauty was taped to one of the risers.


The catwalk and the narrow passage of highway traffic.


View of the falls from the catwalk.


The Oregon City tunnel. It is right on a corner, so if you are side-by-side with a Semi, you need to back off and allow the semi to take both lanes through the tunnel. This is part of my daily commute.

Later, we all posed for a big family photo (I did not post it here as my sister-in-law didn’t like the photo. If she decides she’d like it posted for the world, I’ll edit this and post it. But out of respect – no family photo)


This was Take Two. Everyone stood around Murphy and I set the timer. I hurried over to my place, kneeled, and Murphy (who was just too excited to be included), turned and gave me a huge, sloppy, doggy kiss. And then the camera flashed.

Sunday, we drove down to the Aurora Colony and traipsed through a few expensive antique shops. I do not usually go antique shopping there because the prices are so… <ahem> over-priced. They are probably reasonable, but I am a cheapskate. It was nice to find that we own a fortune in antique marbles – if you could actually sell them for the prices given!

We stopped at the Canby wine-and-art festival on our way back north. It was so-so this year, but there was a winery from Eugene outside that was selling a nice syrah-grenache-cabernet blend (I wasn’t buying wine, but I tasted it). I mentioned Faerieworlds to him and he said they had a booth there last year. He also said he’d had another person come through this weekend who also mentioned the faire and who offered to make him a costume for it. Gee, I wonder if that was my good friend, Queen Mary?

We drove back to Oregon City and I said: “One more stop.” Don (my brother-in-law) did not know we have a working elevator named Elevator Street.


I took them all to Elevator Street and insisted they ride up to the top of the bluff. The elevator operator was great, and repeated everything I’d just told my in-laws about our wonderful vertical street. I want his job.


While we were at the top of the elevator, this train passed by. It was a long train, and every car had military vehicles on it: Hummers, 6-paks, mortars, tanks. Hmmm…


I lied. I admitted. There was one more stop: the overlook. Please click on the photo. It was smoggy, so you couldn’t see further than downtown Portland: on a clear day, you can see Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens.

We had a great time.


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