During early fall we took another family "local" trip. Early one morning (7am) we buckled up Laney and Cooper then headed to Mt. St. Helen's. It was rather over-cast and a bit foggy. We headed to the back or East side as it is not as touristy and more scenic. It takes about 1 1/2 hours to get there, but well worth the drive. Laney & Cooper were such troopers and did not complain at all. We made it to a point called Windy Ridge that has an amazing look-out-advantage. The only catch is that it takes 264 steps, all straight up hill, to reach it. Pete and Cooper started up the hill while I fed Delaney. I then headed up caring her. It was brutal! I made it with several stops, but it was well worth it as the view was beyond amazing. At the top we could see Spirit Lake with all the logs from the volcano eruption some 30+ years ago. What an amazing site to see with all the downed trees and very little vegetation even after all these years. The forest is so thick heading up the mountain then it just goes barren. A true site to see.
So going down was a whole different story. Cooper was tired of walking and Pete had already started down with Laney. So I put Cooper in the carrier and headed down. I'm not sure, but I think going down hill may just be more difficult as the climb up. Still a great experience. I love my little family!!!
Since we had so much fun and thought it would be really fun to hike down to Spirit Lake so we planned another trip again several weeks later. This time we took Papa with us. The hike ended up being much more challenging than we had expected with it virtually being straight up and down. Pete carried Laney down, in her back pack, and the rest of us walked. Cooper did a great job and only asked to be carried a few times. The day was amazingly clear and beautiful; a true NW day.
Towards the bottom of the hike it became really gravely and slippery. As luck would have it Papa fell. We were really worried about him, but he was fine. After making it to the bottom we rested awhile, had a snack, then started our trek back up the mountain. The first part up Pete hauled Laney then I took over and finished the assent. We then drove a short distance to a great pic-nic site and had bagged lunch. Since the view from Windy Ridge look-out is the best we took Papa. He was ready to climb the 264 steps to the top so Cooper and I went with him. Again, another brutal assent, but we made it. Cooper wanted to be carried down. My legs were really wobbly from the hike to the lake and now the stairs and I didn't trust myself so I made him walk. We stopped a bunch of time, but glad to report we all made it down safely and would probably do it again. Here's to more trips like this to come....
Just starting the hike to Spirit Lake.
Papa & Cooper
Half way there!
View from lake side.
Check out all the log. This really doesn't even do it justice.
Our newest friend.
Laney fell asleep on the hike back up.
This was our starting point.
This is Mt. Adams. From this spot there was a panoramic view of Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helen's. At one point we could see Mt. Rainer too. Can you say AMAZING???
The dreaded steps...
Taking a break at the top.
View of Spirit lake from the top of Windy Ridge