Friday, July 24, 2009

Mount St Helens

While camping near Chehalis Washington we realized the last time we visited Mount St Helens was probably around July 1980 after all the destruction. We have some pictures that Dick took back then and tried to find the same site but no luck so we will just have to share all new pictures. Would have loved to see the same location after 29 years.

We ended up going on two different days to visit. The first day the mountain gods decided to hide the top of it in high clouds but the scenery was still spectacular. There are two distinct areas around the mountain. One that all the destroyed trees were harvested and then the area was replanted. The second area was just left for Mother nature to do her thing. The picture above was all cleared and replanted.

Wow, what a site looking down through some of the dead trees into a beautiful valley.

Looking down into a portion of an area that was left to "Mom" to do her thing and in the middle is the new Spirit lake with a huge logjam on one side of the lake. The original Spirit Lake was buried under mud and debris.

A little closer look at that huge logjam in the lake. We wondered if it broke up and shifted around the lake if the wind changed. Anyone need firewood?

Another area that was left to see what will happen. It looks to us like it will take a few more years before it is all reforested. You can see a lot of dead trees standing and blown down.

A little closer look and the results of the damage. Hard to believe its been over 29 years!

Our second trip up the mountain was on a beautiful clear day and we decided to approach it from a different side (the west). This is looking up to the mountain with the Toutle river valley that was completely flooded with mud flows after the eruption. If you blow up the picture and look closely you can see how small the Toutle River is now. This was taken at a lodge while we sat on the deck having lunch. What a view to enjoy a meal by. They took people up in helicopters from this area, but we decided it was just too expensive--we'd just have to see what we could from the ground.

Just another view of the mountain with lots of wildflowers on the side of the hill. Not much left of the mountain after the big bang.

Looking into the remains of the crater with some plumes of steam rising from the inside. There is still some snow from last winter.

We visited Johnston Observatory at the end of the road. During our visit they had a great 20 minute show about the eruption and all the resulting destruction area by area. At the end of the movie a voice came over the speaker asking us to "please remain in our seats", we thought this rather strange as the show was over. The screen was raised at the front of the theatre and then they opened the curtains at the front--the whole wall was glass looking out onto the mountain. Now we understand why they wanted us to remain in our seats.

It's been several blogs since we shared a picture of the two of us. We have to do this to keep our kids happy.

As a parting shot, here is an RV park we did not try and find a site at. We like to park next to the water but this is just a little extreme!
To be continued...

1 comment:

michelle said...

I can't believe it has been that long since the mountain erupted. What a good idea for a day trip. Or 2 day trip.