Wake Me Up

I can’t tell where the journey will end
But I know where to start


Today was a perfect quintessential National Park day. We set an alarm for 5:45 so that we could both get on the road and make reservations at Zion for next year. This road trip stuff takes a lot of planning! Even though the phone line crashed completely and the website crashed repeatedly we managed to secure reservations for two nights at the Zion Lodge next summer. With that task it off the way we got on the road and continued north to the Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.

I didn’t realize there were so many waterfalls inside the caldera

We’d planned a hike along the Boundary and Truman Trails to bring us closer to the heart of the volcano. Even though we hadn’t been in a trail in nearly a week we were all strong. As we moved east along the ridge the views into the caldera improved and soon we could see the ring of glaciers that had formed around the lava plug. There were also periodic views of Spirit Lake and back to the visitor center where we had begun. The terrain was incredibly varied. There were bits of forest near the streams we crossed, rolling hills of packed ash, and rocky terrain.

Zoe had a caterpillar on her. There was much freaking out.

One of the most striking things to me was how new all of the terrain we crossed was. Everything we touched and most of what we could see was created only 40 years ago. This area is actively being created! What a striking difference from the landscapes we usually travel through which are often millions of years old.

This landscape was completely different 40 years ago

After finishing our 10 miles we reunited with Fred and continued north to My Ranier National Park. We stepped into the Paradise Inn and were immediate wowed. This is one of the most beautiful lodges we’ve been to, right up there with the Ahwahnee at Yosemite. The part of the building we’re staying in was just renovated last year anniversary they’ve done a marvelous job.

We all took much needed showers and then headed back to the Great Room to hang out a bit before dinner. There dining room fulfilled our expectations for a National Park Lodge. The atmosphere was beautiful and everything I ate was delicious. After dinner we even got to catch a ranger giving a talk about the old growth forests in the area. To top off the night we’re not back in the room falling asleep to a passing thunderstorm. I couldn’t ask for a better day.

I think this is exactly what it would have felt like to be in this same spot 100 years ago

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