Monday, October 1, 2018

Mount St. Helens weekend, day 1: to the Lone Fir

Hi everyone! Let's cut to the chase here ... we made it to the top of Mount St. Helens and back down safely.

We had wanted to climb MSH last year as part of our Kilimanjaro training -- trudging uphill through ankle-deep screen seemed like the perfect way to prepare. But 2017 was a very snowy year, and the trail remained snow-covered until late July... too late for our comfort. So we sold the permits (for face value, of course!) and planned to go in 2018.

We managed to secure a pair or permits on the first day they became available -- managing to patiently navigate the overwhelmed system. Our date: Friday, September 28, 2018.

The challenge, of course, is having no idea what sort of weather we would encounter, nearly 8 months after purchasing the permits. All we could do was hope for the best.

We took the Thursday and Friday off and decided to make a long weekend of it. The same day I secured the permits -- February 1, 2018 -- I also booked a cabin at the Lone Fir Resort, a cute little place half an hour from the trailhead at Climber's Bivouac.

The Lone Fir is, frankly, adorable. They have a few cabins, some motel units, some tent campsites, and some RV sites, all gathered around a game room, pool, restaurant, and gift shop.

We checked in right at 3, then dropped off our things in our sweet cabin, #6.

This cabin has a really well-stocked kitchen, a sitting room with a couch that converts to a queen-sized futon, and a separate bedroom with a comfy queen-sized bed. Oh, and a bathroom WITH BATHTUB, of course!

We wanted to make sure we could find our way to the trailhead early the next morning, so we drove out there. On the way back we stopped at Ape Caves to take a peek, but guess who forgot her headlamp? Sigh. My favorite ape was disappointed.

But we walked to the entrance to the caves...

... and went a little way in...

... before deciding to head back out into the light. The last thing I needed was to turn an ankle!

Then back to the resort, where we relaxed by the pool -- though neither of us had thought to bring a suit, the day was super hot!

Later we made some dinner in our little kitchen, and then built a fire in the communal fire pit by our cabin.

This attracted the neighbors, so we had a little chat and met a nice couple from Louisiana. But we knew we had an early morning and a long day of climbing ahead of us!

Up next: the climb!

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to hear how the climb went! This has been on my husband and my list for quite awhile now. We are trying to convince the kids that they would like to join us.