7:15 Dave visits the largest spruce tree in the world, a five minute walk from our motel, and he does that before breakfast.
9:00 Rest of family pays respects to the three. It's huge! 56 feet in circumference, 191 feet tall. Estimated to be 1000 years old.
9:45 Stopped at Lake Quinalt Lodge for coffee. It's a beautiful WPA-era building. Pamela and Dave start planning a return visit.
10:15 Take a loop trail through the rain forest. Lots of undergrowth and big trees, though we see no ferns bigger than a sub-zero. (Yesterday a ranger promised us ferns as big as houses, or at least VWs.) The trail crosses a nice stream several times and we have several rounds of Pooh sticks. Linden wins 2-1-1. In places lots of the big trees are downed, their rootballs turned on their side and 15 feet around. A huge windstorm in 2007 with sustained winds of 90 mph took down all the trees.
11:30 Stop for a short hike to the largest red cedar in the world, 63 feet in circumference. It's mostly hollow inside. The hollow space goes up a hundred feet or more and has a cathedral feel. In many places wood is shaped like stalactites. It's a very cool hike to this tree, with lots of big trees festooned with moss, their trail winding through their roots.
12:00 Say goodbye to Olympic National Park.
1:00 Stop at a miserable supermarket in Aberdeen for picnic provisions. After leaving, we have a rolling picnic of salami, cheese, bread. We've been amazed at how widespread good bread is these days. Sadly, no good bread at this store in depressed and depressing Aberdeen.
3:15 Stop for gas and a driver change as we begin the drive up to Mt. St. Helens.
4:10 Stop at the John Ridge Observation Center to see the mountain. Listen to a ranger talk and learn many interesting facts about the blast at St. Helens. If you stacked the debris from the explosion up on a football field, it would stretch up 150 miles.
7:15 Stop outside a restaurant in Portland called Pok Pok. Pamela says it's a good place and that must be true because it's a two hour wait to get in.
7:40 Stop outside another good restaurant with a very long queue out the door. We give up on the good restaurants and go to a Mexican place across the street. Food is adequate and we sit at a table on the street, which is fun. We are in a very lively part of Portland. Lots of people, mostly young, on the street.
9:15 Check into the Double Tree Inn in the Lloyd Center part of Portland. Pamela was able to score a very reasonable room rate through Price Line, since we had not made arrangements before this afternoon. Listen to Jane Eyre before retiring.