Our Trip to Portland - Seaside & Mount St. Helens

This is Part II of our trip to Portland.  After witnessing the romantic Multnomah waterfalls and the sexy Mount Hood, we went to Seaside on Day 2 and Mount St. Helens National Monument on Day 3. To find about what happened there, read on. You can find Part I here.

Day 2 took us to Seaside, a beach destination 2 hours from Portland. The drive to Seaside was absolutely beautiful with super green and scenic surroundings. It was a rainy day and my only regret was that we didn't stop to do any hikes on the way. The town itself is like any other tourist place filled with shops, restaurants and hotels. The beach is cold and we spent little less than an hour before we headed to one of the restaurants to catch some hot lunch in the rain. 

Nice view on one side

Not so nice view on the other side
On our way back, there was a road block for 15-20 minutes and later we realized that it was because of an accident that happened in the tunnel. The scene inside looked pretty bad and I really hope the people survived. Road accidents are probably my worst fear, as you not only hurt yourself but also hurt the other person for no fault of theirs, mostly due to not being careful enough. The rest of the journey home was spent in silence.

We were back in good spirits by the time we reached home and ended the day partying late into the night with delicious dinner, drinks and dance, thanks to our hosts :)

On Day 3, I was determined to do some hiking and started early to Mount St. Helens, which is  an active stratovolcano located in the state of Washington. We were lucky to have another pleasant day and thanked our stars. Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument is within Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Needless to say, the forest area is pretty scenic and by this time, I got used to the scenery and really wanted to get out and do some hiking in the forest. But we decided to check out the mountain first and then do the hikes on the way back. We got our first shot at the mountain and were 1 mile away from the scenic point when a strange thing happened.

First view of Mount St. Helens

Last shot in the Mount St. Helens National Monument Area
We were hit by a Forest ranger. Yes, you read it right. We were in the National Monument area, driving slowly and very carefully while we were hit by a distracted US Forest Ranger on duty coming in the opposite direction. There was no shoulder and no way to avoid her and she ran her Jeep into our car. Luckily, no one was hurt though the rental car was damaged and the driver side door wouldn't open. She adjusted the metal around the wheels with her tools and the Sheriff, after having us test drive the car, said we should be on our way back immediately. With a deep sigh and a  longing look at the mountain, we were on our way back to return the car to the rental company. Thus ended our trip on a happy-sad note, happy that everyone was safe, and sad that the accident happened preventing us from enjoying the place on such a beautiful day. But as long as we are alive, there is always another day.

I would definitely suggest this itinerary to anyone planning a trip to Portland, but also would add another day to explore Portland downtown and experience the city's street food culture.


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