Down Days in Govy: Scouting Mount St. Helens

One of the many perks of working at a snowboard camp is a surplus of great people to travel with.  So, once the 4th session of High Cascade came to a close and photographer Brandon Huttenlocher and I again found ourselves with a few days to kill in the Pacific Northwest, we grabbed medic Jillian Olander and headed for the hills.

This time we set our sights on Mount St. Helens. We really had no idea what to expect; we hardly knew anything about the area. We did know there were some caves and rivers to explore.  We knew dispersed camping was legal (though at first we had to check what “dispersed camping” meant). The silhouette of this blown-out volcano looked amazing from the side of Mount Hood. This was enough to draw us in.

As we quickly found out, it doesn’t take a lot of insider knowledge or careful planning to enjoy the Pacific Northwest in the summer. The waterfalls and caves were just where Google told us they would be, yet far more impressive in person. A little bit of aimless driving around forest service roads was enough to find a mountainside camping meadow, complete with more than enough logging scraps to fuel a bright bonfire. We stumbled upon more wild berries than we could possibly eat.

We had set out to Mount St. Helens without being too sure what we were looking for. We came back having found days in misty underground mazes, and lush forest swimming holes. And once Session 5 began, we had some homemade blackberry pie for dessert.

It doesn’t take much to put together a memorable adventure in the Northwest. Just a willingness to get lost, and a good crew to pass the time with while the rest of the pieces fall into place.

Check out Kyle and Brandon’s other adventures here:

Glacier Camping on Mt. Hood
Exploring the Oregon Coast


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