I pondered as to whether the visit here or not. It was a bit out of the way but I found it to be pretty cool. I can’t believe it was in 1981.
The first visitor center you come to is the state park which sits at the edge of the blast zone.
It is a little difficult to see but there is a slender wooden cross in the ground at the overlook.
We were just on time for a ranger lecture. It was very informative and because it was super windy it was inside.
There were personal accounts of survivors of the blast. They were unbelievable. They had evacuated weeks before but had slowed some folks to go back to their house the day before the eruption and had planned another trip the next day. Needless to say, no one else was able to go back to their home.
A man named Harry Truman owned some cabins on spirit lake. He refused to leave and was one of the casualties.
After the ranger talk and the video we hiked up a trail for a better view.
This was a very talkative and knowledgeable volunteer on the trail. It was crazy windy but he managed to talk just the same.
Leaving the visitor center we stopped here. The volunteer told me that there is a tunnel from Spirit Lake to coldwater creek to here to control the water level. There is no outlet from Spirit Lake and if the lake overflowed it would be catastrophic. When Mount Saint Helens erupted it closed the Columbia River for several months. If this lake overflowed it would close the Columbia River for over a year! He told us about one of the best days of his life when he was allowed to hike through the tunnel to Spirit Lake and have lunch with other volunteers and employees of the national Park.
Once again the campground I selected was non-existent. So I found another for $25. The owner warned me that there were 40 to 50 Bernie’s on the property and to be careful especially if I have a dog. Bunnies are probably one of the only animals that should fear for their life when daisies around! LOL I was very careful to keep her close by even though I didn’t see the first bunny LOL. The owner was very nice and greeted me when I arrived to collect payment I was in the primitive area so that was only a porta potty. They did have flush toilets and running water across the field. They also had Wi-Fi but it was sketchy at my site.
We got up fairly early and started to head for the coast! But first I had to get coffee since I decided not to cook. I found that gas station/markets are just fine for coffee and reasonable especially if a refill.
The coast of Oregon… Spectacular!