Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Worthy Try to Get to the Mountain

This was the view from the van as we were eating a picnic lunch on our way to visit Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument last weekend.  Even though I have lived in Washington State my whole life, I had never been to see Mt. St. Helens in person.

I was just 6 when it erupted on May 18th, 1980, but it gave me a lasting impression of the power of the natural forces of the earth.

The weather was supposed to be clear up near the mountain, but we had to eat in the car due to pouring rain.

I thought it would be fun to take my nephew up to see it.  He lives in Dubai and even though he visits here a lot, he is not quite used to rain.  He only had a flimsy sweatshirt as a jacket, but he was a good sport.

We visited two interpretive centers: one outside the park, and one right at the Johnston Ridge Observatory.  A very cool, topographical map lit up with multi colored LED lights to show the flow of water, ash, and avalanche. 

The clouds cleared enough for us to get a quick peek at the mountain.  This photo looks pretty obscured but we could actually see quite a bit of it.  I think it must be gorgeous if the weather is clear. 

Inside the park a lot of the debris has been left where it landed.  Millions of trees were snapped apart and shredded like toothpicks.  
If you live anywhere near enough to drive and visit Mt St. Helens (It took us about 2 1/2 hours from Tacoma), I highly recommend the effort.  Funny thing about this trip is what is had made me think about once back home.  While the strength of a volcano erupting is pretty darn impressive, I was moved by the two movies we watched about the eruption and the people that lost their homes and/or their lives.  We can try and chase material things our whole lives and then it can be gone in just a few minutes. Food for thought.


  1. I've never been there either and I've lived here 30 years! What's up with that? Only 2 1/2 hours? I smell a road trip ...

  2. I definitely want to go again but on a clearer day!