July 5th, and I make the mistake of choosing a trailhead that begins at an interpretive center (Johnston Ridge Observatory). Still, true to form, the tourists dissipate after the first mile, and we are mostly alone from that point forward. We are tired and missing our dog, only a day after losing her. It's an afternoon that isn't so much about the hike but more about spending the time just walking, taking in late summer sunlight and the wide open, barren expanse on Helen's north side, beautiful in its own way, a testimony to recovery.
|hikers along the Devil's Elbow|
|hummocks on a devastated, but recovering landscape|
BOUNDARY TRAIL: JOHNSTON RIDGE OBSERVATORY to HARRY'S RIDGE
Mount Saint Helens National Monument, Washington
~10 miles, ~1000 feet elevation gain