Our first stop today is at the Mount St. Helens Interpretive Center near Castle Rock, WA. On our way in a park ranger stops us and asks if would we like to have our picture taken together. Of course we did. So he took a picture and he said, you know I was here when the mountain exploded. I was 19 years old. He said it was really eventful day. My thought immediately is, how could you be an older-looking guy? I was 31 in 1980!
Mt. St. Helens is a long way from the Interpretive Center. It is just a dim gray blob from the viewing area. Kind of a disappointment. But there are other things to do. We take some time and look at the plant identifying garden . Then we head to the door to look at the indoor exhibits. We are stopped at the door by a park ranger who says oh I’m sorry but there is no visiting today because we’ve had a power outage. Rats! Today is not going according to my carefully planned schedule!
I had scheduled an hour and a half of vacation time for the Interpretive Center today. So we decide we will take the 1 mile hike into the wetlands as an alternative. The wetlands were created by the formation of Silver Lake which was created by flows from Mount St. Helens in a previous eruption and the eruption in 1980. No doubt we will see some of the half million birds who live and migrate through here, or some fish, or some other wildlife. Nada, nothing. Not even some bugs. Today is not going well.
No worries! We hop back in the car and John drives to Lattin’s Cider Mill just south of Olympia, WA where they are making apple cider and all sorts of apple goodies. We had an apple cider mill called Delicious Orchards near where I grew up. Their apple cider was so crisp that it tasted like biting into an apple. You could even taste the skin. The apple cider at Lattin’s really takes me back in time.
Back on schedule we stop in Olympia, the capital of Washington. After an uninspired lunch we head over to the state capitol buildings complex. According to Wkipedia “The design of the Capitol Campus is a grand example of the City Beautiful style of the Progressive era of the early 20th Century. The City Beautiful style promoted beauty not only for its own sake, but also to create moral and civic virtue among urban populations.” The Mall in Washington D.C. completed in 1922 is a prime example of this.
John points out that the capitals on the columns on the portico are Corinthian but the ones in less prestigious areas are merely Doric. No need to spend extra bucks where they do not need to!
I am not going to go into a long explanation about what happened next. I will just say we were sent on a two and a half hour detour which wrecked the schedule for the rest of the day. We were supposed to visit a lavender farm but never made it. But here is a picture of lavender which is abundant in this region outside of our restaurant for the evening, Blondie’s Plates.
Lastly we had some tasty small plates for dinner.
Today was a long day that did not work out perfectly but was fun nonetheless. We are off to bed. We have to get up at 6AM to catch our ferry to Victoria, British Columbia.