Millennium Mom

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Portland and Mt. St. Helen

So after a wonderful 2 days at Crater Lake we headed North up Route 5 to Portland.  For those of you who don't know Arnie lived in Portland from 1999-2000, not even two years.  Before he met me he had been asking for an assignment in the Pacific NW for a few years.  As luck would have it, we started dating and about 6 months later they found his assignment.  We talked about it and decided he should take it and it was the right decision.  Truly absence made the heart grow fonder.

Anyway, he moved to Portland January 1999 to work on the Fred Meyer customer team as their finance manager.  He loved his two years there, as a tri-athlete he just loved that he could run, bike, swim, ski just about anywhere, anytime he wanted.  He did crazy things like the "hood to coast" bike marathon (from Mt. Hood to the Pacific coast), "tour de blast" up to Mt St. Helen and back down (yes straight up hill), and STP (Seattle to Portland) bike road, and then the Pole, Peddle, Paddle in Bend which is downhill skiing, cross country skiing, road biking, 10K run, canoeing and a sprint at the end (you do it with three people as a marathon).  He worked with a great group of guys that he has remained in touch with since he left 12 years ago and we were excited to see one of them - Tim Zweber. 

Our night at the Zweber's was fantastic, despite them being in the middle of a kitchen renovation, and not having a stove, we had a fabulous dinner and breakfast - done camping style.  They joked they were training for their camping trip at the Seashore in a few weeks.  Of course they kids took advantage of every entertainment option they had in the 18 hours were were there - pool table, basketball, lacrosse and they found and old croquet set and we all did croquet relay race.  Here are some pics, including our photo with the Zwebers.

 After our yummy breakfast we had all the energy we needed to drive up to Mt. St. Helen and show the kids the amazing sight.  It was strange driving through downtown Portland, like Cincinnati the downtown has just sprouted up with residential buildings, it was great.  And downtown Portland was already amazing, so I am sure it is just fantastic now.  The drive up to Mt. St. Helen was great, Arnie was a bit jealous of all the bikers we passed, me of course not...I think they are nuts if I am honest.

We enjoyed our couple of ours on the mountain.  We watched the video which does a great job of illustrating what it would have been like that day.  Unfortunately 57 people were killed the day it blasted, as the "zone" they thought it would stretch too was only about 1/3 of what it did.  The good news is all the hard work those people did that day, and the days after have helped predict many future blasts and the impact they will have.  We also listened to a couple of great ranger talks and learned about how it happened, and then how it began to 'come back" and how it started to regrow (hint- thank the elk, they came down from the meadow and their poop had lots of "plant" seeds in them).

Here are some of the pics.

Say Cheese!

this Ranger was awesome, we loved his talks

the natural wild flowers have begun to come back in the ash.
this is what "phase 2" of the devastation looked like, dead trees laying on their side.  Phase 1 is just the bottle trunks, they were seared off from the heat, and phase 3 which is trees still standing up but all burnt.

Now we head up North and towards the coast to Olympic.  We will stay in Hoquim just north of Aberdeen.


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