Now that we are in Washington and set up in our spot for a few months while I work, we have been taking tent camping trips to explore this area. The picture shown shows us in a dispersed camping site north of Mt St Helens. We had originally set out to camp at an established campground, but when we got there, it was almost full, and what was there was rather bad camping (no room for tents, just an asphalt pad). With a little bit more of driving, we found this site about a hundred feet or so off the road set in a stand of old growth pine. Most of our camping equipment fits into the black pod on the van, so we are set up to camp pretty much anywhere, and don’t need services.
The next day, we drove on Forest Service roads and made our way to Windy Ridge, which is situated just above Spirit Lake and about 4 miles from the Mt St Helens Crater. We were fortunate and had a beautiful day with no clouds, which is rare for this region.
Following Windy Ridge, and a hike up the mountain to a snow bank, we went on a search for another camp site. After driving on paved and unpaved roads, we did not find another one, and ultimately ended up coming back to the camper. It was a very nice day, but also a lesson to us to have a good map of the area, as we did not have the National Forest Map that would have shown us where more dispersed camping was.