It’s been years since I watched this movie with my kids and I don’t really remember much about it, but we were in the area in October, so we went to take a look.
Spirit of Halloweentown takes place every year for the month of October in St. Helens, Oregon. There isn’t much that is unique about the town in general – until you visit their old town. The Historical District is charming, and would have been a lovely visit even if it wasn’t during the Halloweentown festivities.
There are tons of activities on the weekends in October, including meeting with some of the actors from the movie. There are skits, concerts, photo-ops galore, people in costumes, kids all dressed up, haunted houses, food court…St. Helens has fully embraced their claim to fame by being the town that Halloweentown was filmed in.
The Spirit of Halloweentown was a very cool experience, and I highly recommend going, especially if you have kids that are fans of the movie! You can find more information on their Facebook page.
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?
(Disclaimer - Sometimes I am dumb. Last blog I wrote the Northwesternest Corner of the Continental U.S., which is wrong. Alaska is part of the continental US and I should open a geography book and a dictionary to get my crap together.)
Whatcom County, Washington State I am tempted to make some dumb joke about the name of the county, but I can’t figure out whatcom that would be.
We recently visited my kids who just relocated to the Bellingham area and asked them to show us the sites.
Sumas Sumas is a tiny town right on the Canadian border. We stayed at the Sumas RV park for a week. The price was GREAT, and it was really quiet. There were some obvious long-term residents were there, but with the price I can understand why.
Sumas has a lot of cows, and therefore, cow poop. It’s pretty odorific, but if you’re in love with the smell of cow crap like our dog Rusty was then you’ll be golden.
Fall Drive I asked the offspring to take me on a fall colors drive, so we drove towards Mt. Baker. It was beautiful. I could give you a sweet quote on how fall shows us that letting go is beautiful…but really, it was close to Halloween and death looked damn good on that road.
Birch Bay Birch Bay is a little seaside tourist town that is completely adorable! Lots of little shops, cute cottages to rent, and a state park. Also – a rock painter’s paradise!
Peace Arch Park Peace Arch is a monument located on the border of Blaine, WA and Surrey, British Columbia. The park on both sides is well kept and lovely. The meaning behind the arch is even lovelier. In 1916 Samuel Hill commissioned the building of the Peach Arch Park (he also commissioned the Maryhill Stonehenge in Washington). The park was built to symbolize a long history of peace between our nations…perhaps we should build more Peach Arches and less walls.
Trips visiting my kids are always too short, but they tire of me using their washer and dryer quickly so we pointed Matilda’s nose south toward Mt. St. Helens – UP NEXT!
If you want to feel better about yourself as a parent, you should read this book. It gives you some pretty descriptive detail about how to be the shittiest parents possible.
Fourth of July Creek takes you back to the early 80’s, and introduces you to the Pearl family. This family is extremely religious, and heavily lean on conspiracy theories to keep themselves thoroughly crazy as they live in the wilderness, completely off-grid. A CPS worker, Pete Snow, gets wind of the family and shows up to try and help – and it eventually leads to ATF and the FBI searching for the family – and for Pete.
Maybe the conspiracies aren’t just theories anymore.
Even though this type of story is normally not my thing, the novel was good. The characters are colorful, giving you an in-depth look into some pretty serious cuckoo birds, and some pretty intense assholes.
My full opinion – worth the read, but probably only once.
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.
In a world similar to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Hillary Jordan’s world of When She Woke takes place in a future where women have little, to no, choice on what they can do with their bodies.
Criminals are not often kept in jails or prisons anymore, instead their skin is dyed a color that matches their crime. The protagonist, Hannah, wakes in a temporary cell with her skin dyed a deep red. Scarlet. The color of murder. The victim was her unborn child.
The current political climate of the United States makes this novel seem less like science fiction, and more like a premonition. Religious leaders, such as Pat Robertson or Joel Osteen, try so desperately to make us (especially women) live a guilt-ridden life, terrified of upsetting a very angry god. In this story we watch Hannah wake up to the reality of life and religion – and maybe start making choices to follow her own beliefs and not those of the “righteous” men that run the country.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
A Book Review
The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian novel that takes place in the future in what used to be the United States. The novel shows us a future that the majority of women have fought quite hard to prevent. The land is ruled by men and religion. Most women are infertile (according to the men), so those that are fertile are trained to become handmaids.
“And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her.” Genesis 30:1
The handmaids live with a Commander, and their wife, and are forced to have sex with the commander every month during their most fertile time. This story follows Offred, a handmaid to Commander Fred, and his wife, Serena Joy. Offred used to be known by another name, and used to be known as a mother and a wife. Offred yearns to find her way back to her daughter and her husband – if they are even still alive.
The Handmaid’s Tale is terrifying – and touching. In a world where your choices are taken away, would you make a final choice for yourself anyway?
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.
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.