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Smoke on the Mountain IV - Oct 27th

788 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Diezel Dawg
Bob V of NWBombers has planned this in the past, but is swamped with his kids activities.

Traditionally, this has been a mid to late October run up to Mt St Helens just before the Johnston's Ridge Observatory shuts down for the winter. This a "Team Diesel" event, meaning all brands welcome.

Here is pics from the two previous years I've made the run:

Smoke on the Mountain II (2005)

Smoke on the Mountain III (2006)

The day usually starts with a breakfast at Spiffy's where Highway 12 crosses I-5. Exit 68. GET THE BUFFET!

From there we begin our convoy heading East on 12 to Mary's Corner, then south on Jackson Highway to Toledo (Watch out for the motorcycle cop coming into town).

Then cruise Highway 505 to Spirit Lake Memorial Highway, stopping at the "Burried A-Frame" for a picture with bigfoot.

There are a couple of really cool places to pull over and get scenic shots with the trucks in the picture, and last year we kinda staged a few shots on the bridge as the weather was perfect.

Oh, and if you have a CB laying around, install it! Going on a BOMBvoy without a CB, is like going to a rock concert and being deaf. You miss out on a lot of fun.

The Hoffstadt Bluffs Visitor Center does helicopter tours and glass blowing, but from what I can tell, they dont do that in October. They stop in September, but if there is enough intrest, maybe I can call and see if they'll set up a special glass blowing session or something.

The weather in late october is hit and miss. Last year was SUPER WINDY, but totally clear. The year before, there was snow on the side of the road and the Mt was hidden by fog and it was COLD.

Once at the top, everyone wanders around the visitor center, catches the movie, and then we all kinda head off on our own way home in a little more rag-tag groups.

At this point, it looks like its going to be the last saturday of October. The 27th. Thats been the favorite date over on Bombers so far, and I like it too.
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Saturday, October 27th 2007!!

Here is the gameplan for the trip.

Total Trip is 60 miles, and 1.5 hours from Spiffy's to the top of the Mnt. Expect it to take us a little longer as we stop at Kid Valley/Bigfoot and the Big Bridge for photos.

From: Spiffy's Restaurant
110 US Highway 12
Chehalis, WA 98532

Drive: 2.4 mi – about 2 mins
To: Mary's Corner, WA. Hang a right and start the trip to Toledo, WA.

Drive: 8.1 mi – about 16 mins
To: Toledo, WA. Watch out for the Motorcycle Cop. I swear that guy never sleeps!

Drive: 17.3 mi – about 21 mins
To: Kid Valley, WA. Pull in and get your picture with BIGFOOT and check out the A-frame.

Drive: 10.1 mi – about 11 mins
To: The Big Bridge Viewpoint for some poser shots.

Drive: 22.1 mi – about 32 mins
To: Johnston Ridge Observatory. Our Final Destination.

For those that want to meet and eat, lets plan for no earlier than 9am at Spiffy's. Then, for those that dont want to do breakfast, but want to join us for the trip, lets plan to leave the parking lot no later than 10:30. That gives an hour and a half to mingle and eat. GET THE BUFFET! (Is that getting old yet? )

That should get us to the top of the mnt between 12 and 1 depending on how badly we lolly-gag.

Keep in mind, if you want to go inside the visitors center, there is a very nominal fee to enter (Its somewhere between 3 and 8 bucks depending on if you get the single site, or multi site pass). However, there is no fee to drive up to the site and enjoy the (hopefully clear) view.

Oct 28th is the last open day for the year, so we are catching them on their closing weekend. Its also about 4200 feet elevation, and winter looks a little early this year judging from my view of the foothills. Plan for all weather conditions, up to and including snow. Last year was SUNNY but WINDY. The year before was cold/foggy and a little snow on the side of the road.

For those with CB radios (and you really do want one on this trip) our traditional channel is 10. Keep it PG folks, as we do have kids riding along and listening.
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I would like to thank everyone who made it out the the 4th annual run to Mt St Helens. This years event was the biggest I have seen it, and we packed every place we went. If it gets any bigger, we are going to have to request they make a bigger mountain!

The southbound and northbound convoys somehow managed to time their arrivals to the SECOND! Both convoys pulled into the spiffy's parking lot at the same time.

The trip from Spiffy's to the first tourist trap was pretty overcast and foggy and COLD, but as soon as we started making the climb, it cleared up, and warmed up. The wind was no where near as bad as last year, and at the Coldwater Creek site, there was no wind at all!

The Johnston Ridge visitor center did increase their rates this year, and I was unaware of the increase so I was not able to warn everyone ahead of time. Hopefully that didnt cause any problems for anyone. Also, the Coldwater Creek site is shutting down forever due to lack of funds, and the building needing a major overhaul, so those that made it inside this trip, your the last lucky few.

Only two incidents to report. We had one of the southbound trucks get caught in a speed trap near Tacoma, and a Ford V-10 gasser that was towing a trailer and was parked at the coldwater creek visitors center managed to push thru its manual transmission and roll down the parking lot and strike a car. He wasnt with us, but he was parked near us and several of us heard the loud CRASH as it pushed the car it hit a full parking spot over. No injuries, other than pride in either incident.

The CB chatter was a little lacking this year, but I think that was partly because some of our lead rabble rousers were not able to join us this year, or forgot to get their CBs hooked up. The guilty parties know who they are

Thanks also to Bob V, who started this event 4 years ago, and while he couldnt join us this year, he did manage to jump on the freeway and roll with the northbound crew for several miles before having to head the other way. A couple others who joined us at least for part of the event was Diesel Freak and Justme. Both also had to jet just after breakfast, but made quiet the commute to come eat breakfast with us.

Last, but not least, many thanks to Mike and Sarah of for having some very cool T-shirts and sweatshirts made up for the event. If you did not get one, and still want one, go to their webpage and order one up. They can also do up pretty much anything you want in vinyl decals and shirts.

As your reward for reading thru all of that, here are the pictures I or my wife took. Pics are reduced size to make for faster web loading, but if anyone wants the full size versions for printing or screensavers, let me know.

I will work on the video next
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