We don’t treat our Mother Earth very well, and occasionally She likes to return the favor.
On May 18, 1980, She threw a fit. The eruption caused a cloud of gas and rock debris to blow out of the mountain, removing 1300 feet of the mountain’s summit. Everything within eight miles of the blast was destroyed almost instantly. The shockwave caused by the blast dropped everything over the next 19 miles. Beyond the “tree down zone” the damaged area was over 260 square miles.
The eruption caused a mushroom cloud of ash and gas 12 miles into the air, resulting in ash falling from the sky in seven different states.
The Mt. St. Helens eruption is considered the most destructive volcano in U.S. history. At least 57 people died, over 200 homes were destroyed, and more than 185 miles of roads and 15 miles of railways were damaged.
Mt. St. Helens National Monument now is evidence of us trying to rebuild that damage that was done. We have replanted trees over the years, a lot of them. The rivers and creeks that were dammed by fallen trees and damaged by mud rivers are flowing again. Mt. St. Helens became a national monument in 1982, making it easier to get grants and monies to help fund the replanting and repair all the damage.
Between 2004 – 2008 the mountain showed volcanic activity as a continuous eruption with a gradual sploosh of magma. Basically, it was a very long, very unladylike burp – just to remind us of Her power.
Since 2008 Mt. St. Helens has been considered dormant – but one should keep an eye where sleeping bitches lie. Amiright?
We at Write on the Road tend to avoid big cities whenever we can – so recently we tackled Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington all in the same week – because we also like to make ourselves cry.
We had to be in Portland for a few days, so we filled our time finding geeky stuff to do.
Who says size matters? The Guinness Book of World Records – Portland is home to the World’s Smallest Park. Mill Ends Park is just 24” in diameter and 452.16 square inches.
Who else says size matters? Me, when a bookstore takes up an entire city block! We visited Powell’s City of Books, America’s largest independent bookstore. It was amazing. It smelled of books, new and old, and coffee. There were a LOT of people shopping while we were there, but it was okay – book people are okay.
We also hung out for a few hours at the Clackamas Town Center Mall. Best stores – Hot Topic and Barnes and Noble. Now I own a badass beanie, and my to-be-read-pile is ridiculously large (and now we’re talking about size again). To finish up our shopping, we visited the StarWarsStore store near the mall. The store is small, but the space is filled with so many collectibles that it was nerdgasmic.
To end our Portland adventure we found The TARDIS Room Cafe. With hopes of fish fingers and custard, we arrived for lunch – only to be disappointed by a closure for remodel.
After our few days in Portland, we were ready to get on the road again.
We headed north, and briefly stopped in Seattle, WA.
I try to be a supportive spouse. I support Mike in most things, and when I don’t it’s because he has had some stupid idea to…I digress. I support Mike in most things, and it was no different when he decided to take a religious trek to sacred ground – CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks.
I don’t give any craps about football – but Mike does. He has been a fan of the Seahawks since he was a wee lad, and he was thrilled to stop by Centurylink for a quick look-see. It wasn’t a tour day, so we didn’t really get to see the field open, just through the fence. The store was open there, and although I don’t give any craps about football, I do love me a new hoodie – so guess who’s a Seahawks fan now? Still not me, but I got a new hoodie anyway.
Seattle has a ton of things that we wanted to see and do, but we didn’t have time for this trip. Travel through Washington will be a regular thing for us from now on, as family members have moved up there and we will be visiting often. Looking forward to the Space Needle and the Pop Culture Museum next time through!
After Seattle we kept driving north – eventually all the way to the Canadian border…
UP NEXT – The most northwesternest you can get in the continental US.
Oregon’s Silver Falls State Park is located about 45 miles northeast of Salem. The park is enormous with beautiful hiking trails, including the Trail of Ten Falls. The most visited waterfall is the South Falls, which you can hike behind.
A lot of the main trails are off limits to pets, but there are over 35 miles of backcountry trails that you can take your furbabies on.
There is plenty of interpretive displays along the main trails, with history on the area and the park.
There is also a beautiful lodge that has a cafe and WiFi.
We will be visiting Silver Falls State Park again as there was too much to see in one trip…and we were too lazy to hike the Trail of Ten Falls this time and I am disappointed with us.
Detroit Lake State Park is another 50 miles east of Silver Falls. The lake is huge and is a very popular place in the spring and summer. Plenty of lake for watersports and fishing.
The small town of Detroit is nearby and is the self-proclaimed “motor boat city.” The “motor boat city” has a few small markets, and a few small restaurants and bars. There is also a dog park, which is a small 6’ x 8’ area with a broken fence, but the dogs were happy taking a tinkle there.
We found the only WiFi in the town at The Cedars Restaurant and Lounge. We ate buffalo chips, and lounged so much in the lounge that we were still lounging the next day until about noon.
What I have discovered over the past week and a half is that fall along Highway 22 is quite brief, as this would have been the drive just a few days later.
I get emotionally attached to inanimate objects…like teddy bears, blankets, cars, travel trailers. So how do I say goodbye to Serenity..our tiny home for the last year? Answer: I don’t. I just “loan” it to a family member for awhile so I can make the goodbye be as long and painful as possible. I need to start going to therapy – again.
What I learned very quickly though is that having a brand new queen size memory foam bed in our new-to-us motorhome made my sadness go away pretty quickly. It was probably all the naps on the new bed…rest is the best treatment for sadness.
So anyway, meet Matilda.
Rusty and Milo love the new home…as long as it isn’t actually moving.
Matilda is exactly what were looking for, and we are so excited to add her to the family!
Serenity brought us plenty of that…serenity. Forever in love with our first travel trailer, and falling more in love with Matilda everyday. Or maybe, just maybe, I am in love with this life.
Okay everyone, Milo here! I need to make this quick while our peoples are napping. Our peoples said it was okay to write dog blogs, but only when they were with us. They’re napping right now, but I couldn’t wait to tell you about this little park just for dogs!
Okay, so you know, the place we come from, I mean before we started traveling everywheres, well that place doesn’t like dogs so much. I mean there are lots of dogs and lots of peoples who like dogs, but they have no place for dogs to hang out. No dog park. It is sad.
So, okay, people who like dogs didn’t like that (and neither did us dogs either). So, this dog named Gracie (she’s even on TV!) got her peoples to build her one! Okay, so her peoples have a business that gets humans to come and buy cars for us dogs to ride in, and Gracie got them to build their own little place for dogs… and any dog can come play and it is called Gracie Land! Rusty and I love going there. There aren’t very many dogs, but that is okay… maybe they just don’t know about the place yet.
Oh! So maybe they’ll know now because I’m telling you all about it! It is not very big, but it is big enough, and there is a table for me to lay on while my peoples sit at the bench! There’s a big bucket I can dunk my whole face in for water, and they just reseeded the grass so it’s all grey and fluffy!
Okay, for the humans, I heard our peoples talking about something called “Ko-fee”… they have it everyday, and there is a little shop inside the building where the nice new cars are (which would be nice to ride in) that you can get yourself a Ko-fee.
Okay, for my first Dog Park Review – I wish there was more toys and more dogs – I thought about giving it two paws – but it is super cool that those peoples, who didn’t need to do this, did it just for us anyway. Okay, because they did, I am going to give it 3 out of 4 paws!
My mom person just woke up from her nap and said to tell you all that they are back on the road and will be posting all regular (like poop?) soon!!
The last blog was about a month ago, just as we headed into the wild for our fire watch workamping gig. The gig was sweet! We had plenty of space, trees for miles, and easy work! By the end of the first weekend we were all set up to homestead for a few months.
after only four days were back in Coos Bay – at the hospital. Mike’s father was admitted through the emergency room and wasn’t doing well. We spent a few days seeing which direction his health was going to go, and then we called Rundell Inc. to let them know that we were unable to come back to work. And that is one of the best things about being full-time RVers; when life is starting to storm, you can always just park and wait it out.
Rundell Inc. was completely understanding about the situation, and we would recommend anyone in the Oregon area that is interesting in off-grid workamping to contact them about their fire watch gigs.
As far as Mike’s dad, he is on the road to recovery and is doing well. So we bought a motorhome….
This last January we spent three months caretaking for Key’s Ranch inside Joshua Tree National Park. The caretaker position there didn’t pay a wage, but we had space for the trailer, water, garbage, and reimbursement for our propane. The job description included helping park rangers with daily tours of the ranch, helping lost hikers find their way, and making sure there were no vandals on the property. It was a simple job, and the rangers at Joshua Tree were great to work with. It was an amazing experience that I am quite grateful for.
We were just recently hired for a Fire/Equipment Watch position in Oregon. This job description includes fire watch for a few hours after quitting time for the work crew, and equipment watch during the night and weekends. They decided to go ahead and hire for the position because some jackass used their equipment tires as target practice a few weeks ago. We are paid a daily stipend with this job, which is great. We’re responsible for our own power (solar!), water, and propane. They do provide a port-a-john, and I learned today that I have to share my port-a-john with the crew sometimes. I’m not super thrilled about this, but I think I’m going to try leaving packages of maxi pads and tampons in there to keep the guys out – I will keep you updated on how that works for me.
Now you would like to know where we find these kind of gigs, right? Well, if you wouldn’t like to know, you should go read something else.
There are a lot of workamping sites available online. Most are free, but some do charge for a membership.
Sugar Beet Harvest – Short term positions offer excellent compensation and attract applicants from all over the United States and Canada.
Workamping Jobs– Help Wanted Ads for Campgrounds and RV Parks looking for RV workers.
Cool Works– Jobs in Great Places. Where Do You Want To Be Tomorrow?
Workers on Wheels – Work For RVers And Campers. Sets you free with temporary, seasonal, and mobile jobs that pay.
We are members of quite a few RVing groups on Facebook, and they are a great source of information, and they have a lot of experienced RVers to answer your questions. The groups are 90% useful and 10% grumpy farts. There’s always a handful that have to throw poo like they skipped a step in the evolutionary process…
So, I’m going to talk about the complaints I have seen the most from RVers about other RVers. You can use the information to avoid pissing people off – or to make it a lot worse if you don’t care how bunchy their panties get.
Kids Having Fun Seriously, this is a complaint that I have seen more than once. What we full-timers need to remember is that this is our life. We get to stay at these parks, travel, and relax or explore whenever and however we like. The weekenders or vacationers are trying to make the best of the limited time they have before they have to go back to work. Have some patience! Take a good listen to a kids’ laughter – it could be contagious!
Unleashed Dogs First, we are dog owners. We have two full-sized dogs that you can learn all about them here. Second, your dogs should ALWAYS be on leash when outside. That is the rule 99% of the time, so follow it. If your dog is amazingly well-behaved then congratulations, and they shouldn’t mind being on a leash because they are so amazingly well-behaved. Also, it makes my dogs jealous that yours are off leash and mine are all dressed up with them. Stop making my dogs jealous. Just follow the rules.
People Walking Through Your Campsite Okay, I gotta go with the grumpy farts on this one. If it’s isn’t your campsite, stay out of it.
Generators “They have their generator on all night long.” “It’s so loud.” “The fumes come in my window.” Okay okay, okay. I get it. You are probably out RVing because you like the outdoors; because nature sounds and smells better than a city every time. But we all travel differently. We don’t own a generator, but have some great portable solar panels. BUT we do not use much power. No TV, no microwave, etc. We’ve gotten annoyed by a generator a time or two, but having a camping neighbor come tell us about his heart monitor that needs charged often (he is on the heart transplant list) reminded us that we don’t know what other people got going on in their lives, so we probably shouldn’t gripe about any of them…well, maybe a few of them.
LINKS on RVing Etiquette (I do not necessarily agree with all of these, or any of them, but thought I would share other opinions too, even though mine is really the only one that matters.
While staying at Cottonwood Canyon State Park in Oregon, we decided we were interested in visiting Stonehenge. Wiltshire, England seemed like too far to go, so we went to Maryhill, WA which was only about 30 miles away.
The Maryhill Stonehenge, built by Sam Hill, was the first monument in the United States to honor the dead of World War I. The center altar stone is lined up with sunrise on the summer solstice. Hill had incorrectly believed that the original Stonehenge had been used as a sacrificial site, therefore constructed the replica as a reminder that humanity is still being sacrificed to the god of war.
If you are interested in visiting other Stonehenge replicas in the United States you can find a Roadside America map here.