The Columbia River separates me from my destination but it is easily crossed from downtown Portland, Oregon. I am on Interstate 5 headed north.
The Johnston Ridge Observatory is now just 52 miles away along a promising scenic route.
Isolated yellows standout against bright evergreens.
A gentle reminder of the approaching winter as the sweet smell of fresh pine permeates the air.
Ascending Highway 504 glimpses of my destination can be seen in the distance. In some ways I am not in a hurry to get there, the journey is becoming almost as fascinating as the destination.
In the shadow of the afternoon sun, at the right spots it delivers nicely to the landscape.
At one point in the 1980's this river was in some areas buried up to 600 feet deep in debris. Today it's waters flow clear and free, a relaxing sound.
At Hoffstadt Bluffs Visitor Center my destination draws closer and a reminder of it's history is on display. A reporter's car from a local television station, KOMO 4 News still shows evidence of what happened on that fateful day over 30 years ago.
The fresh air and clear skies makes returning to the car a bit disappointing. These are the days made for a convertible.
It is almost unimaginable to revisit the destruction that was here.
A new bridge easily masses what was although nature still has some of it’s foot prints left behind.
Parking my car at Loowit Viewpoint, I have an informative conversation with a local volunteer doing some maintenance work around the parking lot. I receive a nice history lesson of the area and have my curious questions answered.
“Vancouver!, Vancouver! This is it!”
This observatory is named in honor of David A. Johnston a geologist and the first to report Mount St. Helen's eruption before being swept away by the lateral blast it created on a Sunday morning, May 18th, 1980.