11 December 2005

Christmas Lights and Mt St Helens

I know it’s been awhile, but mostly we’ve just been hangin out and living life here in Portland. We’ve done a few things, but certainly not everyday, and we didn’t take pics of most of it.

We spent Thanksgiving with the guys; it was nice to see all of them again. Since then we’ve mostly been working and living, and trying to stay warm. It’s been getting down in the low 30s upper 20s at night here and I think we had a high of 38 yesterday. Our heater has been working overtime.

Bill and I went and saw some of the holiday lights that are out and about. We drove the PIR lights (http://www.globaleventsgrouppdx.com/wonderland/walk.html)…that was a bit disappointing, and then went to The Grotto to check out their Festival of Lights (http://www.thegrotto.org/events/lights.htm), which was more impressive than the PIR. The next day Bill and I drove and parked at a spot along the Columbia River (about 5min from where we are staying) and watching the Christmas Boats getting ready for their trip down the river. (http://www.christmasships.org/) It was really a lot of fun to see the ships out there all lit up. I can’t imagine how cold the people on those ships must have been.

The other day (Friday) we drove out to Mt St Helens to see what we could see. We were greeted with a beautiful view of the mountain covered in snow from the first visitor’s center. It was a beautiful day and actually got warmer the closer to the snow we got. It was around 45+ degrees up at Cold Water and just a little below that at the first visitor’s center.

It was really something to drive the road up to the Cold Water lookout and drive into the snow. The views from this road are incredible. We took pics from the lookouts, but you really have to drive the road to get all the awesome views. The visitor’s center at Cold Water has some wonderful views from its wrap around deck. It was a beautiful day, again about 45+ degrees. There was snow on the ground and Bill chucked a snowball at my feet (I had the video camera so he couldn’t hit me straight on), and I nailed him in the back (he had the still camera) with one of my own. It was so beautiful; pictures just don’t do it justice, although these come close.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Mt St Helens history...see here: http://www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/volcanocams/msh/

And for the record (to my oldest sister) Johnston Ridge Observatory IS farther from the Cold Water lookout, but was closed for the winter. So...you were right, it's a different view.

There’s no doubt about it, the Pacific Northwest has some of the most beautiful scenery around.


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