On 9 days behind schedule but we finally pulled out of the driveway around 1:00 p.m. heading to points south with a goal of Yosemite National Park. We have until the end of the month before we need to be home and this first week the weather does not promise to be much more than rain, no matter whether we take the coastal route, go straight down I-5 or even head to the eastside of the Cascades which also threatens rain/snow. For now we opt for the shortest distance, straight down I-5 as far as Salem or Roseburg and then look at the weather forecast.
It was a little disconcerting to see two of the campgrounds along I-5 south of Olympia closed but Seaquest State Park, gateway to Mt. St. Helens was open so that’s where we decided to go, only 5 miles off the freeway it would be easy enough to turn around if we didn’t like it. As we pulled into the camping area we noticed a lot of tree limbs and branches scattered about in fact we backed out of the first camping loop because of the amount of debris on the roadway. A ranger was clearing one of the roads so we stopped and talked to make sure the campground was open for business. He said they had experienced 60 mph winds on Friday, lost 7 trees and countless limbs large and small. He had one section of the roadway cleared so we opted to camp the night in the full hook-up area where it had been cleared.
We set up camp and took a walk through the destruction, what a mess! Exploring one of the closed loops you could barely see the picnic tables. I wanted to see if we could get to the lake without running across a busy highway and sure enough there was an underpass that led to a beautiful walkway through the marshes with a great view across the lake to snow-capped Mt. St. Helens. I had not brought my camera but tried to capture it with the cell phone, not the same.
The Visitor Center was closed by this time but we may stop in the morning and I saw a group of trillium that I would like to shoot with my “real” camera tomorrow.
Back in camp another trailer had arrived and we stopped to chat, a nice couple of Mukilteo out on their maiden voyage with a brand new trailer. They invited us over but by the time we finished dinner and cleaned up the kitchen it was getting dark and had started to drizzle, maybe we will see them in the morning.