Day 32. Mount Saint Helens. Where in the heck is it?

Day 32, Thursday, July 8. Today is a Mount Saint Helens day and boy what a day it was. Seven plus hours of driving with the destination being Spirit Lake and Windy Ridge resulted in just seven plus hour of driving to what seemed to be a wasted trip. Not all was wasted.

Our first stop was the Mount St. Helens visitor center. Not far from our campground, this was probably the only view we would have of Mount Saint Helens.

Yay, it appears to be dog friendly. Let’s take our fur kids for a walk.

The visitor center was closed but the gift shop was open. The gift shop was a small shack outside with a few t-shirts and trinkets.

Most of the trail was dirty gravel but there was a very nice boardwalk.

I always take BooBoo and Bella with me. The two of them are easier to handle than one of Benji.

Hubby is the lucky one that gets to take Benji. Benji is a handful when walking. He pulls until he gets tired. It’s a good thing he gets tired fast.

Benji also has to stop at every blade of grass, tree, or pole to mark his territory. Hubby is usually not a patient person but he has a lot of patience with Benji. Mostly because Benji is so darn cute.

Take a good look at these pictures because they will be the only pictures you will see of Mount Saint Helens on this post. At least the flowers are close up and beautiful.

Our next stop would be the Mount Saint Helens Monument.

I thought the monument would be located at the Headquarters for Mount St. Helens, but when we got there we could not find the monument, unless the pile of bricks next to the sign was the monument. This is where our GPS took us.

So off we go again on our adventure to find the volcano. We cross over this one lane bridge. What a bumpy ride. We travel for a while after crossing bridge only to think we were going the wrong way so we turned around and crossed the bridge again. Oh dear.

I snapped a picture of the water under the bridge.

Our fur kids needed a break so we found this marina/park. If you have a boat and need a life jacket, they will loan you one. Hubby walked each of the pups while I walked around with my camera.

Another train. I’ve never seen so many trains as we see out west. Each train we see is pulling miles and miles of cars. And the trains are moving fast.

Yay, an information center. I go in and talk to the lady. She was very nice. She explained that we were going in the right direction and our destination should be Spirit Lake and Windy Ridge. She said we would absolutely love the beauty there. There was another sign saying National Volcanic Monument. Again, was this pile of bricks the monument? Are there a bunch of these monuments? Are they scattered all around the volcano to trick you into thinking you are heading the right way?

The lady at the info center gave me a map and highlighted the route we need to take to get to Spirit Lake and Windy Ridge. From what she tells me, it appears we have around 30 miles to go. When I got back in the Big Boy Truck, I showed Hubby the map. We thought since we are this close, we should try to get there.

So we drive and drive and drive.

And we drive, and drive and drive some more. No road signs. Sure we have a map, but what good is it if the roads are not marked. No cell service and the GPS does not recognize Spirit Lake or Windy Ridge.

I find it hard to believe that there is not one single road markers to be found. Heck, now we are thinking we don’t even know if we are on the right road. No cars other than us on this long and winding road. I look at the time and it is getting late. It is very slow going because we can only drive 20 to 30 miles per hour because of the hairpin turns and sharp curves on this road. At this rate, if we are on the right road it could take us over an hour to get to Spirit Lake. What if we are not on the right road?

Once we did find Spirit Lake, if we did find Spirit Lake, we still have to drive a few hours or more back to our campground. We would not get to camp until dark. I told Hubby to turn around. We needed to find our way back to our campground. The GPS did help us get back to camp.

If we didn’t have the fur kids, we might have ventured on. We needed to think of them. They were being very good riding in the Big Boy Truck. We had water and snacks for them, but they needed to eat their supper. We got back to the campground around 8 pm. We stopped in a small town at a fast food restaurant. We were tired, the pups were tired and Hubby and I were a little disappointed that we did not get to see Mount Saint Helens close up.

Maybe some other time if we ever come back to Washington.

God Bless, Stay Safe, Be Kind to Every Kind and know when to give up.

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