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Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Portland and Mt St Helens

We arrived in Portland on Friday afternoon. We walked up to Mark's (my brother for those who don't know) house. I haven't seen him for over 4 years. He still looks the same but his accent has changed a lot. His wife Chloe says that it doesn't sound American to an American but it did to me!

That day we went for a walk to Portland's International Rose Test Centre and also got a faint view of Mt St Helens. Later we went to a bar - our first American bar (took us a long time didn't it :o). It looked like a pub to me!

Next day Mark drove us and his housemate Justin to Mt St Helens. Our first stop was at Ape cave, a cave formed by an ancient volcanic eruption. It was very dark and we didn't have a light so we had to follow other people but it was probably more fun that way.

Next we went to Lava Canyon. This again was formed by an ancient volcanic eruption but it was only unearthed after the 1980 eruption. Finally we climbed up the steps at the Windy Ridge Viewpoint to see Mt St Helens and Spirit Lake. We could see where the blast was and the land around which is desert like although there is some vegetation growing back. The lake still has lots of dead trees in. Impressive.

The day after Mark had to (um) work so we went into Portland and had a little look around. The centre of town consists of Pioneer Square. We spent some time there and also looked at a post-modern building (I can't remember what it actually was.). We also went to the market there and wandered around the stalls. We left Mark's about 5pm to catch the bus to San Francisco.

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