Sometimes I wonder about being here as an open book… specially when one falls down over and over, disregard being on the road or following your most appreciated path, it is always the same! Human nature! Thank you for the nice comments and e mails… I never feel alone… Here is the start of this weekend… The destination was the North Fork campground, off NF23, itself splitting off NF25, which is also 131, in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The last map shows the route and today’s shows another route into the eastern entrance of Mt St Helen. Only about one hundred miles from Enumclaw… it did not take us all day! Just part of it.
Stopped in Ebel, while taking pictures of the Hobo Inn, I see a sidecar rig with a dog in it. Finally another rider with some common sense… or non at all. I stopped the photos and crossed town by foot to their pull out, the same one I was parked at. Dave and Katie… so much fun, as it was MY turn to take pictures! Maybe I am understanding a bit better how others are feeling now as I was excited at the sight myself. I just thought it was so great, when I have been doing the same thing all along!
Dave was going to a Moto Guzi get together, their 20th one I understand, a little affair of well under 100 riders. Needing to visualize directions as I was already debating to join them or not, I pull out my own map and as he is looking at it, tells me that I have already mapped it! What a coincidence… same destination.
Easy to find, we set up in the campground by the river while they are just a few feet away, across from us. Beautiful campground, luscious forest, with hues of many greens, moss covered branches and trunks laying on the ground, a true tropical setting. It is called North Fork and I do recommend it. I had a little incident when camping last, at the foothills of Mt Rainier… incident which is making me a bit cautious about disbursed camping around here…
A few days ago, a 40 foot line used for Spirit, one of those metal ones covered with vinyl, disappeared… odd I thought as they were many other items available… locked… but there. At the same time, when checking out this logging operation I was surprised to find out that someone lived on the premises watching the place… Do you see those cables holding the tall post?… well, they vanished one night… all gone. The same day, I was told by one ranger that he busted this year alone 2 meth labs in the forest, was also told that they have been after any kind of metal cables to resale and make some money for their components… Right here at North Fork, the Host told me that their brass faucets had also vanished not too long ago for the same purpose.. Camping is not what it used to be… I hope it is not a sign for things to come… We are too close to a big city…
Morning came, a nice walk with Spirit in the woods, and it was time for breakfast across the river. Quite a treat… managing to make omelets and biscuits with gravy for everyone, all this without any power. I really was not going to have breakfast… but after learning how the omelets where done, I just had to… One ziplock bag per person, with their name written on it, break in a couple eggs, anything else you desire, as in this case, ham, cheese, green peppers, green onions… mix it all well with your fingers… let the air out… fold the bag and drop it in… boiling water. A few minute later… a great omelet. Where have I been?…
Much talking, chatting, great crowd, many Guzzi’s… a few other brands… I am not suppose to advertise this gathering! Much work is involved and every year the number has been growing a bit. It was then time to ride if I wanted to get back early enough to witness the salmon being grilled as the Native Americans use to do it… another lesson in cooking… 2 in one day?
The approach to the eastern entrance of Mt St Helen is reached by going south on NF25 (or 131) and making a right on 99. A curvy road, uphill with many stops on the way, many pull outs. Where else can one see all 4 mountains in one afternoon, on the same road? Mt Rainier… Mt Adams… Mt Hood and Mt St Helen!
A few miles up, the scenery changes and there is a knot is my stomach, an eerie feel has descended upon me… Some changes from the last time when I was here seven years ago, on the western side actually, the greenery has made its comeback a bit… but the desolation standing cannot make one forget that lava rolling up and down the hills at speeds of 600 miles per hour!
But we are running out of space today… the rest of the ride and the grilled salmon… next time. You be well…as always.
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853 Vanderbilt Beach Rd #245
Naples Fl 34108
Ara & Spirit