On the drive from Seattle to Portland we made the detour to see Mount St. Helens. Unfortunately the peak was clouded over for the duration of our visit, but we learned quite a bit about the eruption and the effects on the surrounding forest. All trees around the mountain were killed, but some did not burn because there was no oxygen left in the air. Apparently ash made it up to multiple Canadian provinces!
We camped at the Milo McIver State Park outside Portland, making day trips into the city to visit breweries, cafes, Powell’s Books, a natural wine store, food trucks, and to follow a free walking tour.
The free walking tour showed us a few of the city’s sights and we learned a few things about its history. The first two white Americans who arrived from the east flipped a penny to decide whether to name the city after their respective hometowns of Portland, ME or Boston, MA. We learned the city holds the record for the world’s smallest park, Mill Ends, which also serves as the largest leprechaun colony west of Ireland.
From Portland we made our way to the Oregon coast, stopping regularly to snap photos of the gorgeous scenery and to spot grey whales (who were not easily caught on camera).
North of Florence, we stopped at the Sea Lion Caves, the largest sea cave in America, and second largest in the world. Unfortunately the sea lions were out fishin’ so we were left to examine the remains of previous generations and to wander the caves.