St. Helens & Spirit Lake – 20 June 2020

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Yesterday I hiked to Norway Pass, which overlooks Spirit Lake and Mt. St. Helens.  With all the pandemic fears going on and the “Stay home, stay safe” orders, it was nice to get outside for a hike and enjoy nature, rather than just a walk around the neighborhood.  I was the only person hiking at Norway Pass, I didn’t see anyone which is always welcome when hiking in the wilderness (that could be because the roads were still closed and the gates locked, but I found a gate that wasn’t locked…).  I was practicing 6 mile social distancing.  I did see lots of elk tracks, a lot of bear scat, some cougar scat, and a variety of other critter tracks.  But, except for birds, I didn’t see any wildlife.  The wildflowers were definitely in bloom.  The hills were showing lots of colors from blooms of Paintbrush, Penstemon, Strawberry, Yarrow, Bleeding Heart, Avalanche Lily, Arnica, and even a few Trillium.  The trail still had snow in areas which was tricky to cross at times, but just added to the enjoyment of the hike.  Overall, it was a good day, and it reminded me that despite the COVID crisis, life continues on, the world is still turning, the sun will come each day, and we will survive this and will again be able to enjoy life with friends and family, without masks and fear.  =efh=

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