I don’t really know how to say this delicately, but day two of the Giro d’Oregon kicked off with a lively breakfast discussion about the apparent after affects of eating a very rich and decadent donut the night before… resulting in one of our group (to remain forever nameless) recounting a successful morning routine that apparently involved something called the “voodoo doo doo!”
This in turn became a minor theme for the day, but more on that later… The highlight of today was a visit to the Mt St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, a two hour scenic drive northeast of Portland. Along the way we saw a doe and her two fawns up close and personal as they leisurely strolled across the road 10 feet in front of our car. Even more exciting was an entirely unexpected encounter with Sasquatch (aka Bigfoot) the mysterious and rarely seen creature that roams the forests of the Pacific Northwest… we even got a picture to prove it!
Continuing up the road, Mt St. Helens and the terrain forever changed in the May 18, 1980 blast loomed. We stopped at numerous overlooks, which only served to whet our appetite for the visit to the Johnston Ridge Observatory, named after USGS volcanologist David A. Johnston who was standing at that same point when he was the first to witness and announce the cataclysmic explosion with the words “Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!” Only to be swept away by the massive lateral explosion racing toward him from the side of the mountain that seconds later took his life.
The power, devastation, change and rebirth of this event underscores a healthy respect and continued amazement of the natural world around us.
Earlier in the day… much earlier (at 6:31 am to be exact), Sue made sure to get our priorities straight for the day by texting info on a place to have lunch, namely because it featured the St. Helens Burger, a gastronomic masterpiece that we just had to seek out and try! So on our way down the mountain, we found the Fire Mountain Grill at 19 Mile House. This is a wonderful restaurant overlooking the Toutle River that serves the Bigfoot Burger, an eating challenge that if successful would result in a free t-shirt. Although tempting, we conducted a quick risk-reward assessment and determined that the risk of severe intestinal discomfort and the real possibility of a “Sasquatch Sh#t” (… I told you we would get back to that theme!) far outweighed the reward of a $15 t-shirt. Instead we decided to simply split the burger and pile of fries four ways. It was a delicious lunch, with room leftover for mountain berry and peach cobbler.
Then it was back to Portland for a visit to the massive and iconic Powell’s City of Books where you can do some fun people watching, and maybe even pick up some interesting reading material.
We ended a fun day at the Widmer Brothers Brewery for a refreshing pint and a game of darts.