Sunday, December 10, 2017

Seattle Work Trip Nets 1 Life Bird and a Volcano

What a crazy work trip last week. So busy with meetings in Seattle that I didn't think I would have even an hour to be outdoors. Luckily, my boss and I had an hour to kill on Monday afternoon and went out to Marymoor Park in Redmond WA just to get outside. As luck would have it, we met a couple on the trail that told us about a Red-breasted Sapsucker pecking away at a tree further down the path. Check! Life bird!

I've missed this relatively easy bird on many west coast trips in the past, but not this time. The bird was in no hurry to leave. Bad news is that I only brought my binoculars and not my camera. You can see how close we were though since I managed to get this cell phone photo.

Red-breasted Sapsucker
I also had to head down to Portland OR to meet with some clients. The scenery was beautiful. Mountain ranges and big cedar trees all along the route. The weather was clear enough for me to see the major mountains (volcanos) that run along the Cascade mountain range. I saw Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens and Mount Hood too. On my way back to Seattle on Thursday, I had a few hours of daylight so I decided to detour off the highway to see Mount St. Helens.

The Visitor Center has a gorgeous, but distant view of the volcano.

Mount St. Helens
Getting a closer look requires an hour drive. I made it pretty far up but the park road is closed in winter.

Imagine back to 1979 before the volcano erupted. This mountain had a pointed top. But then unexpectedly, BOOM! A cataclysmic eruption blew the entire top of the mountain right off leaving it looking like this. 

Mount St. Helens
A closer look at the back side of the volcano shows how the mountain top blew off and destroyed the side of the mountain. Pretty impressive to see first hand.

Mount St. Helens - eruption zone
If you have the opportunity to see it, you should make the trip.

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