Around Mount St. Helens, Washington

We started our journey at the Peace Arch border crossing near Vancouver, feeling a little apprehensive about crossing with the big camper and Luke’s British passport.  Much to our delight we passed the initial inspection with no problems and headed into the main building to buy Luke’s 90 day visa for $6.  This turned out to be the real challenge.  We kept our cool for about an hour in a line behind only 4 other people, then were barraged by an endless string of pointless questions, in the end I guess he decided we were harmless enough despite our vague plans!

Mount St Helens

We decided to just get past Seattle and headed towards Mount St. Helens as our first destination in WA.  I didn’t know much about it other than the fact it had erupted in 1980.  So we were very happy to find lots of nice walking trails and amazing mountain views.  There are 3 ways to approach the mountain, coming from the west is the more popular route, but during the winter months most of the visitor centers and some of the roads are closed, still plenty to see and do though.

Washington Sunset.

The next day we drove to the southern entrance of the mountain, where there are lava tubes from an explosion about 2000 years ago.  I’d never seen anything like it, black rock tunnels throughout the forest from where trees had once stood and been turned to ash.  And more excitingly there was a 2 mile long tunnel formed by a lava river to explore.  Apparently the outside of this river cools enough to form a crust, leaving behind a rock tunnel.

Tree tunnels

 

Entrance to the lava tunnels.

Inside.

 Today we passed through small towns and mossy forests on our way south towards the Columbia River.  Spotting a sign for waterfalls we turned off the road.  We found some beautiful little falls with nice walks along the Lewis River.  At Lucia Falls we saw salmon trying to jump up the falls, (which I know seems weird this time of year) and found a cool old bridge at Moulton Falls.

Woodland bridge.

So far we have managed to stay in pull outs on quiet country roads, and last night tried out our home made shower for the first time, hot water and all!  Our little home is serving us well.

We’ve just passed into Oregon so stay tuned!

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