Towards the end of June we decided to take make one last getaway before baby girl arrives. Since June is the best time for roses, and since Portland is the city of roses, we stayed a night in Portland and went to the International Rose Test Garden the next morning.
I love the pretty rose arches. We'd actually visited here back in June of 2007, but our pictures from it were all lost. They'd been put on a laptop of Oscar's. When it died, he took it to a computer repair shop and told them they could scrap it for parts if they could just get the data off of it. They tried but unfortunately, it was irretrievable.
Ty had fun with the drinking fountain.Though his favorite thing was running around while daddy tried to get pics of mommy.
After that we drove northeast to see the east side of Mt St Helens. Here's a roadside waterfall we saw along the way.
http://stacyandoscar.blogspot.com/…/our-first-road-trip-awa… for full details). Since we had Tyler with us this time, we looked up extra maps and websites and felt much more prepared for this journey, but even by taking correct roads the whole time, this area is still very scary and confusing due to lack of adequate signage. We discovered there was also a 3/4 mile unpaved section of the main road not far from where we'd made it before, which made me feel less stupid for ending up on an unpaved road last time. Without signs, how was I to know I'd strayed from the main road? And when we tried to find Big Creek Falls, which I'd read was an easily accessible falls with a large wooden viewing platform, there were no signs to tell us erosion had destroyed the platform in 2013. We found an unsigned parking lot that was clearly blocked off, but the trail was still accessible and there was plenty of space to pull off along the side of the road. For all we knew the parking lot was simply being redone. Ty and I stayed in the car while Oscar checked it out to see if we'd found the right spot. When he returned he said he really shouldn't have gone down that trail to begin with and that there was no possible way to view the waterfall safely. Is it really that hard to put up a sign that says "Danger! Big Creek Falls currently inaccessible due to trail damage???" For a place with an active volcano and continuous erosion, you'd think there'd be more signs to inform people of impending dangers!
There are fantastic views of the volcano and Spirit Lake. You can also see Mt Hood in the far distance.
My cute guys! That's Mt Adams behind them. There are also spots along the drive up where you can see Mt Ranier. This is the place to see Washington's volcanos!
360 degrees of pure beauty!
It was nice to look up at the stairs and see what we'd accomplished after we got back in the parking lot.
We hadn't stopped at any of the other lookouts on our way up since we'd wanted to make sure we got to the main one before the sun started going down. We drove by a few on the way down, but they pale in comparison to Windy Ridge. I'd recommend this lookout over the more popular Johnston Ridge Observatory on the west side, but the drive out is long and sloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow................