Decided to go finally see Mt St Helens after living here in Washington for several years. It was a hot Sunday morning with the temperatures right around 90* and getting hotter. There was heavy traffic heading back into Seattle as everyone was returning home from the 4th of July plans. Both the weather and the traffic made the drive hellacious. My engine temperature gauge was higher than I’ve ever seen it so I kept the speed a bit lower to compensate.
Finally reaching my exit, heading east from I-5 on 505, then 504, towards the Johnson Observatory lookout. It’s a good number of miles out there through some backcountry farming communities that take advantage of the rich soil in this area. Mt St. Helens is hidden for most of the way so it’s a WOW moment when it turns into view.
On the way back, HERE maps took me on a strange route. Most likely it was trying to divert from the parking-lot traffic that was Interstate 5. It took me along some interesting back roads; once driving between farmers fields on a old, seemingly abandoned two lane blacktop.
Heading north, I eventually connected up with highway 161, which is a interesting drive in that it is a very straight road that slowly devolves from mountainous forests into the urbanity of Puyallup, WA.