And here’s the rest of the story…eight months later

To finish the trip blog post from May 2017…

To say Reno was ghetto is an understatement.   They are trying to bring things back up to par there, but it appears it’s a slow process.  There is a beautiful park near the city center where they have something similar to the San Antonio River Walk.  It was nice to stretch our legs and get a pedicure during the day, but the nightlife was almost non-existent for us young ladies of a certain age…aka 40’s.  Most the dance clubs in our hotel were full of 20 somethings…and men who are my dads age.  We were able to spend one day at the pool! It was glorious.   One thing we noticed in our hotel was the odd artwork displayed in random places around the large hotel.  It was definitely retro type statues and decor.  And just like that…our two nights and three days in Reno were up…now where?

The artwork in our Reno hotel…WTF

We decided to head to northern California and to start making our way back to Washington State.  We drove back to the Oregon coast, stopping wherever we could to dip our toes into the pacific ocean.  I always forget how much I love the coast.  If I could wake up every day and go to sleep every night while listening to the waves crash on the beach I would think I’ve died and gone to heaven.  But for now, my Amazon Echo plays those wave noises for me while I sleep…that or rain storms.  Yeah I know, not the same.

After seeing all of the tsunami signs again we decided to drive to see another natural disaster location…Mount Saint Helen’s.  It had been at least 20 years since I had been there.  I remember it very well when it blew tho.

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Mount Saint Helen’s…in all her glory!

My parents, my brother and I were camping in Eastern Washington when we heard a loud boom, and the sky turned dark grey.  My parents started loading everything up, taking the tent down in a hurry and telling us to gather all of our things and to get into the, as my dad said that day, god-damned jeep.  The ash just started coming down as we drove out of the campground and back home, away from the ash.  My grandparents were also camping with us, but they stayed.  I guess my grandpa figured he’d lived long enough, and survived a war,  so a little volcano wasn’t going to scare him.  I remember being scared for he and my grandma tho.  I didn’t want them to get hurt.  My grandpa did collect barrels of ash before coming back home.   I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t still some on his property to this day!

When we finally made it to the highest viewpoint, and the closest to the mountain we said, “dang, Mount Saint Helen’s looks amazing!”  The sun was out, there was a light breeze and the traffic wasn’t too bad.  We went to a few of the lookouts, took lots of pictures and acted like all the other tourists.

As we were driving to our last lookout there was an odd-looking motor home in front of us with a strange-looking emblem.  Of course we tried to get close to read the words, but I don’t tailgate, so we decided to just wait until we parked at the next lookout and then go chat up the driver.  As I approached the motorhome at the next lookout I noticed that the emblem and words were a little ummm…conspiracy theory like.

I think Heather thought I was crazy approaching the motor home, but I was brave (or stupid).   The driver rolled his window down as I approached.  I saw he and his wife sitting in the seats looking at me like I was a government employee.   I told them that I thought their logo looked a little like the NASA emblem, they told me that they were not NASA.  Their organization had something to do with EMP’s (look it up).  After that  I stopped really listening to them after they said they were “watching the government”.  So I thanked them for their time and walked back to the rental car.  Heather made fun of me, then we drove off down the mountain.   Great day, minus the motorhome mistake.

We decided to stop in Olympia to prolong our road trip just one more night.  We relaxed and slept well that night.  We reflected on what a great road trip we had.

The next morning we woke up, packed up the rental car and headed for home.

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