Sunday, August 17, 2008

Vacation Day 11 - Grandparents and Mt. St. Helens

I was unable to blog for the past few days since my grandparents have limited internet access and we were trying to pack so many things into our little BC trip that I didn't have time to post. So now I'll try to remember all the things we did!

On Tuesday we set out for my Grandparent's place in Napavine, Washington. It was about an hour and a half I think to get there. We got there and unloaded some stuff, then we got in the car again with Grandpa and drove the windy roads up to Mt. St. Helens!

If you're not familiar with the eruption of Mt. St. Helens on May 18, 1980, go to this site and read the story. I find the story and the pictures and seeing what happened completely fascinating. If you ever get a chance to go to the mountain, GO!!!!

I was at Mt. St. Helens when I was a kid (like 13 or 14 I think...) so in the 10 or 15 years since I've been there I notice a LOT of growth of trees and stuff. But it's still completely barren compared to what it once was. Uncle Gary told us that they used to go to Spirit Lake at the base of the mountain ALL the time as kids. The entire mountain was surrounded by a beautiful old growth forest. The eruption destroyed the forests for miles around, filled the valley beneath the mountain with a layer of 600 ft of ash and mud and debris, raised Spirit lake by about that much as well, and also created a whole new lake. It's absolutely fascinating to see what the mountain used to look like and what it looks like now. And all the more fascinating that it happened only 28 years ago! In North America! We don't usually think about volcanoes here, but we have LOTS! All of the larger mountains in the Cascade mountain range are active volcanoes. Most aren't really doing anything, but they all have the potential to erupt at some point!

After the trip to the mountain, we went back to Grandma and Grandpa's and just hung out. We looked at grandma's photo albums and talked for a long time. I haven't really gotten a chance to get to know my grandparents since I became an adult. We went down there a lot as kids, but the last time I was down there was the summer of 2001 and even then we didn't get a chance to talk much since it was a family reunion of sorts. So it was really great to just sit and talk with them. They are getting up there in age so I was really glad to have the chance to talk to them now.

They both had some little stories about my dad and grandma showed me lots of pictures that I hadn't seen before of before he was married and when he still had his long hippie hair and beard. Grandpa showed me some things that he still has that my dad made. My dad used to make model cars. It was one thing that he and I did together when I was younger actually. When HE was younger, he made his dad a model logging truck. My grandpa drove logging trucks for most of his life. I still remember going with him one day when I was REALLY young. I had to have only been 6 or 7. But I remember! Anyway, Grandpa showed me this truck that dad made. I guess there weren't any log truck kits, so dad got a couple of truck kits and made his own logging truck out of the pieces. It was really cool to see something like that that my dad made.

So after a long day of visiting and sight seeing, we all went to bed. Dale and I sorted through our receipts for crossing the boarder the next day then hit the hay fairly early.

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