Mount St Helens

I’m slacking on quilting, but I sure am enjoying sight seeing. Today I joined a group outing for seniors planned by Portland Parks. Their trips are so popular that when I called to register half an hour after registration opened, I was 8th on the waiting list for one.   But I got into the Mount St Helens trip.

view of Mt St HelensThere were two films in the theatre at Johnston Ridge Observatory, one about the eruption and one about regrowth of nature afterward.  When we entered the theatre, the curtain was down; when the film was over, it raised along with the screen to reveal the above view. Especially dramatic the first time.

Tidbits I’d either never known or had forgotten: the landslide traveled at 150 mph; the blaze at 700 mph. The ash plume rose 15 miles. (Numbers are from memory, and at the moment I’m not finding corroboration–nor contradiction. ) The heat was so much that it melted glaciers and created a mudslide that buried a river. One or two lakes were buried. Two others were created. We visited one.

View from Coldwater Lake

Mount St Helens from Coldwater Lake

Coldwater Lake, along with Castle Lake, was formed by the 1980 event. The area now boasts picnic tables in the shade, a nice walking trail with boardwalks over fragile new shore growth.

flower growing in dead wood

The area in the National Monument is left for nature to take its course so that that course can be studied.  In contrast, trees were replanted and have been heavily fertilized in surrounding areas so that they can mature and be logged. They too have an exhibit and and elk viewing area. (The elk missed their appointment to pose for us.)

We drove one of three approaches to view Mount St Helens. Not only are there more approaches to see, there are more displays and explanations to see at Johnston Ridge Observatory.


Filed under photography, travel

3 responses to “Mount St Helens

  1. Goeckers

    Oh My – I’m forwarding this to Beth Baird in Corvallis Claire – such a great area…

  2. Cher

    what a wonderful trip you enjoyed. thanks for sharing great photos

  3. Chicago Gabe

    Nice trip! Your comments about the pyroclastic flow traveling at 700 mph reminds of Mt. Vesuvius’ pyroclastic flow that buried the Roman villa of Ercolano in 79 CE.

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