The last day of the trip finds
the group over packing the van and breaking camp
at 6:10 am. The sole destination for the day is
St. Helens National Volcanic Monument to get
a first-hand view of the volcano. We left Camp
Rilea and traveled along Oregon state highway
30 which follows the Columbia River. We crossed
the Columbia near Rainier and joined up with I-5.
Then we took highway 504 east into Mount St. Helens
National Volcanic Monument.
Map of our route
Washington State Highway
We arrived in the park at about 8:00 am and
drove through the park stopping at several viewpoints
and observatories. The first stop we made was
at the edge of the blast
zone. After entering the blast zone we drove
Ridge Visitor Center. At the visitor center
we walked along the Winds of Change Interpretive
Trail to see the effects of the
wind that slammed into Coldwater Ridge during
the eruption and the transformation that has
taken place since. The trail offers you the
chance to learn how the gentle
of time, helped plants and animals return.
The final destination within the park was Johnston
Ridge Observatory, located only 4 miles
from Mount St. Helens! After spending about
3 hours touring the park, we left and headed
for SeaTac International Airport to catch our
flight back to Eau Claire, Wisconsin.