...where the grass is green and the escort girls from beijing are pretty.
Yes, it was sunny in Paradise. Sunday and Monday. That makes 4 sunny days in the last 40. Gotta be some kind of record.
On the way to Paradise, I made two stops. First up was Lewis and Clark State Park.
Lewis and Clark State Park is a 621-acre camping park situated in one of the last major stands of old-growth forest in the state. Coniferous trees, streams, wetlands, dense vegetation and wet prairie comprise the park environment. There are plenty of hiking trails and horse trails as well. The most popular trail is the famous "Trail of the Beer".
OK, I may have altered that just a little bit...
Next up was Ike Kinswa State Park.
Ike Kinswa State Park is a 454-acre camping park with 46,000 feet of freshwater shoreline on the north side of Mayfield Lake. The campsites are forested and available year-round. Some of the campsites were the largest I have ever seen.
There is a separate day use area with a swim beach and picnic areas.
Mayfield Lake has good fishing for bass and trout. There is a boat ramp and shore fishing is also popular.
A couple of miles west is Paradise, a Thousand Trails campground where I will spend the next two nights. Here is the view from their driveway.
The body of water is Mayfield Lake. Turning a bit to the right you get this view.
Yep, that is Mt. St. Helens, which blew it's top on May 18, 1980, at 8:32 am.
OK, let's go set up a tent.
My Element is very dirty and didn't want to be in the photo.
Notice anything unusual about my tent? I left the fly off on Sunday night. That is how I like it, looking up at the stars.
Since the weather was so nice, I took a stroll around the campgrounds two lakes after checking out the pool area and other fun stuff.
It's still early in the season, but the staff was working hard getting the place ready.
Looks good. As I walk toward the lakes I pass by the store and places to play tennis, basketball, and horseshoes.
Here is where you can borrow a kayak or canoe for a little paddling fun.
You can barely see some Canadian Geese in the lower right of the photo. I'll see if I can sneak up. Looks like a family with 4 younger ones.
Oops, got too close.
The babies still have their downy feathers, but they will be gone soon.
I followed the path around the lakes. Gotta take advantage of the weather when you can.
The flowers are in bloom and the smell is wonderful.
At this point I reach the larger lake.
Starting to see some clouds forming. Time to head back.
I relaxed in my chair and did some reading. I was nibbling on peanuts and must have dropped one.
Check out his claws!
I actually felt those on my leg. I was wearing shorts for the second time on this whole trip. I thought he had gone away when all of a sudden he scampered up my leg, digging those little claws in. It kinda tickled.
Tuesday morning was cloudy and by the time I was heading out it had started to rain. Stopped at this place.
There are two big campgrounds in the park. Ohanapecosh is the largest at over 180 sites. It is on the eastern side of the mountain and I visited it in 2009. Cougar Rock is on the western slope and has over 170 sites. I checked it out.
Open but almost empty. There were about 10 brave campers in the rain. Some of the sites were tiny and some big.
That is one of the big ones. I could not take any pictures of the mountain because of the clouds, but here are two from the last time I was here.
Here is the date when that photo was taken according to the file data: Tuesday, August 18, 2009, 2:03:50 PM
Mt. Baker, Rainier, St. Helens, Hood, Bachelor, and Shasta are all classified as inactive volcanoes. St. Helens proved that wrong, and now officials are preparing in case another one erupts. Check out this sign in the Mt. Rainier area.
I've seen the movies. You cannot outrun lava.
I had one more stop before reaching my campground.
Kanaskat-Palmer State Park is a 320-acre camping park on a small, low plateau in a natural forest setting. The park has two miles of shorelines on the Green River. Boat and raft launching is by hand only. River rafting and kayaking down the Green River Gorge is for expert-level enthusiasts only. Shoreline activities include nature appreciation, trout fishing and picnicking.
It started to rain really hard so I did not walk down to the river. The campsites were nice and big and about half had hookups.
I have about 50 miles to go to get to Monroe, WA where I am camping for 4 nights. It is pouring rain and I need to get some new wiper blades. They have worn out. I'll finish with this little conundrum.
Maybe it is just me, but I find this sign very amusing.
I mean, isn't THAT a warning sign?
Regards, Park Ranger