After a very awesome Saturday the week before in Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument I wanted to go back. Checking the weather there was a chance of rain and it would be cold but I was determined to get out to the mountain. The scenery was just to good to pass up. Just sitting at the overlook after a good day at the park….amazing. I wanted that feeling again.
The weather in Portland was overcast when I left. For some brief moments on the highway it was raining. When I was getting close to the science center part of the pass was completely fogged over which was shocking to see so. I knew the weather was not going to play along for the day but I was going to the make the most of it. It is true that the weather can change quickly on the mountain.
When I got to the parking lot it was raining slightly so I sat around for 30-40 minutes waiting for the weather to clear up. I had gear for the cold but not the best equipment for rain. No matter. I would just wait it out. Things eventually cleared up enough that I could start my hike up the mountain. I was unsure how far I would get but that didn’t matter much. I just wanted to get as high and as far as I could along the South Coldwater Trail.
Less than a mile into the hike rain started to fall. Eventually it was so heavy I took an opportunity to sit under a tree and get out of the rain. I was going to wait it out and I couldn’t have picked a better spot. The tree I was under was dense enough that I never got wet. There was a perfect rock that was my seat so I didn’t have to sit directly on the ground either.
It was peaceful sitting under that tree listening to the rain fall. On occasion runners would pass me on their way down the mountain. They really got caught out in the rain but it didn’t matter. Each one of them just continued down like nothing was happening. I just continued to sit on the rock watching nature.
Eventually the rain stopped and the humidity picked up big time. I continued up the mountain but not for much longer. The skies cleared some but as I got higher up the ridge line I could see dark clouds rolling across the valley towards me. It wasn’t raining now but it was going to again. I got to a good spot, enjoyed the view for a few minutes and then headed back.
The mountain won this round but I am determined to come back. The trail follows the ridge line which is why I want to hike this trail. I figure some good views of St. Helens if I can get high enough and then just the valley and down across the ridge. Doesn’t hurt that Coldwater Lake is also at the base of the mountain. Something else to look at as you climb up the trail. I’m excited to see what this trail is like. I will be back.