Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mt. St. Helens

After much anticipation, reading and planning we left a day early for our trip to Mt. St. Helens. We stopped and bought a queen bee and went to my father in law's house because he was experiencing some bee problems. It turned out that he did not need a queen (his was still there) so we brought the queen with us on our trip. She was in her nice little queen cage and Sean dutifully fed her every day and kept her safe and warm in her paper bag under the driver seat. We began our journey as planned and went to the Mt. St. Helens Visitor Center. It had lots of information and a movie and ranger talk in addition to wonderful displays. It was a great choice to go see. Tim really wanted to see the Sasquatch so we stopped there for a breather and some tall tales.
Erik as always had great questions and listens to much more than he looks like. We were so happy to have Geaba all to ourselves. She was so much fun and a wonderful help.
We decided not to go to the Johnston Observatory because the 20% chance of rain turned to be 80% wrong and you could not see beyond the railing.

We camped at one of my favorite places ever, Bar UK Ranch. I have been camping there since high school and it was so fun to share with family and friends. We could have just gone camping and the children would have had as good of a time, if not better. They loved swimming even though the weather was not warm. We were very thankful that it was not raining and the blackberries were ripe and easy picking. We enjoyed some delicious blackberry pancakes courtesy of Sean. Well also all the children and Geaba and Syndi. Erik was our best picker and ate as much as he brought for the pancakes. Ruby had a perpetual black mouth due to the amount of berries she consumed. Syndi and I bought the stuff to make blackberry cobbler but ran out of time.

This was a common sight in our van during the 3 day trip (think 3 hour tour ~ from Gilligan's Island) Everyone fell asleep at some point because we were doing much more driving than anticipated. I think the altitude had a negative impact on Ian. He was achy and feverish and ended up dry heaving in the tent. I warned Syndi that we tend to not be very good campers. I have been diligently checking Craigslist for campers (it seems like a much better way to go)
The drive to Windy Ridge did me in and I did not even get out of the van except to view the restrooms. I begged for us to take the long route home (4 hours longer) so that I did not have to travel on that road ever again. Needless to say we were disappointed in the lack of success we had with our planning but as Syndi kept reminding me, "We are making memories." Maybe I will laugh later.

This is kinda how I felt after we got back. 3 days of driving and 3 days of laundry when we got home. We ended up canceling the rest of our trip due to sickness. Another day, another memory.

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