In 1991, I attempted flying lessons at Evergreen Airfield (59S), a small air park in eastern Vancouver, Washington. Back then, the cost of fuel was low and aviation was more lax. I started up learning banks, turns, and taxi. A week later I’d learn landing on the 40-foot wide asphalt runway. 59S also had turf field.
The cost for me, still in high school and working part-time was cost prohibited. I had to quit. I ended up logging a total of 1.5 hours and two landings at 59S logged and signed off by my instructor. That was it for flying lessons.
Evergreen Airfield was found by Wally Olsen in 1946. When Wally passed away in 1997, his family continued operating the airport until closing it in 2006 and selling it to a developer. Aside from my first flight lesson, I’ve also had good memories with my pilot friend, taking me up on flights while I shot videos on my 8 mm video camera. I’ve also been to a few air shows at the air park, watching aerobatic maneuvers and checking out the vintage planes.
Today, a new Hampton Inn & Suites now sits on runway 28/10. A section of runway 28 end remains east of the hotel. Unfortunately, a semi trailer and containers are parked on it when I went to check out the remains.
Nine years ago on this day, May 21, 2006, the 499-foot cooling tower at the Trojan Nuclear Power Plant stood along the Columbia River near Rainier, Oregon, crumbled to the ground in a controlled demolition. I was there to photograph the implosion with my Nikon D70 dSLR camera and my Sony Hi-8 video camera. Sadly, my D70 encountered a firmware failure two minutes prior to the implosion. Talk about bad timing for Murphy’s Law.
A bike repair stand could have been convenient for me a few times in downtown Milwaukie. I snapped a chain on the new Trolley Trail light rail alignment. I blew a tire rolling out of city hall on a Bike Milwaukie group bike ride.
Today marked Mt. St. Helens eruption’s 35th anniversary. I traveled to Johnston Ridge Observatory for some photos of the sleeping beauty.
Admission was free to the observatory for the anniversary. Being on a Monday, not too many people were at the site. What was following behind me on WA 504 was another story: six school buses filled with students.
The crowd doesn’t appease me, so I wandered off down Boundary Trail and explored a little bit. The weather building up and thunderstorms in the forecast meant I had to keep this little adventure short and sweet.
In late September of 2004, the mountain started to quake. Swarms of earthquakes baffled scientists. Would the mountain re-awaken?
On the morning of October 1, 2004, I drove to Windy Ridge at the Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. This is the site where Mt. St. Helens leveled the pristine Northwest forest in one simple blast on the morning of May 18, 1980 at 8:32 a.m. Pacific Time.
I was driving on Forest Road 99, passing Cascade Peaks, and seeing the mountain silently sit under the blue sky. Mt. St. Helens disappeared behind the ridges as the road twisted its way through the hills.
The mountain reappeared. I remember the time: 12:03 p.m. A small plume emits from the volcano’s crater. I stopped to take a photo and the finish the last few miles of driving to Windy Ridge.
The plume grew bigger. I reached Windy Ridge. I shot some more photos as the mountain continued to cough out some ash and steam. Then the eruption ended around 12:20 p.m.
I hung around for a little bit until the U.S. Forest Service evacuated the area. Later, Forest Road 99 was closed at Cascade Peaks 6 miles to the east.