My alarm went off at 4:00am on a Sunday. By 4:30am I was hauling my day pack and coffee cup down to the car. Mt. St. Helens is a 4 and a half hour drive from Seattle depending on your route, and I hoped to be on the trail leading to Norway Pass by 9am. That didn’t quite work out (due to some sketchy directions from a local hiking site), but what I finally found was worth the drive.
After walking up the dusty Norway Pass trail and rounding a knob, I was treated to this view.
The haze in the air seemed to highlight St. Helens edges, making the mountain appear to be cut out of the sky. The log jam that has floated in Spirit Lake since the explosion made its unending migration from tip to cove and back and forth. It was sunny and 70 degrees. The air was still with an occasional cooling breeze. Sun bleached fallen trees were neatly laid out, resting in patches of wild flowers or puffs of green grass. It seemed unreal. The stillness, the order, the quiet and that giant mountain with its side carved out.
I went over Bear Pass and continued on the Lakes Loop. There are several small lakes set in basins and small valleys along the Lakes Trail. I had hoped to see most of them, but with the long drive back looming ahead of me, I called it quits after visiting Shovel Lake.
I left the trail head knowing I would be back later this spring and into summer. There is much, much more!