Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mount St. Helens, WA

Jim had his dental implant yesterday and is doing great. He’s had very little discomfort and was told to take it easy for a couple days. So today we took a ride to see Mt. St. Helens, since it is only about 50 miles from here. Of course that is as the crow flies, and the winding roads we took to the nearest viewpoint made it closer to 80 miles, but it was a beautiful, clear day for a drive.PA080036


Most of the route goes through the Gifford-Pinchot National Forest, so it is very remote. We saw maybe a dozen or so other vehicles on the forest roads. We drove to the Windy Ridge viewpoint, which takes you 4 miles from the volcano. It is a great view from the parking lot, but if you climb 361 steps, you can get higher and get a better view of Spirit Lake, which is now full of downed trees from the eruption on May 18, 1980.PA080048


A good number of trees have already grown back, and many of their leaves were changing, which made a pretty contrast to the barren landscape.PA080038

They are predicting 50’s and rain for most of next week, so we’re glad we had a chance to see this on such a clear day. Tomorrow it’s back to work at the dam.


  1. Finally a "been there, done that" on you guys. Would be cool to hike around the upper cone. Monitored the eruption via satellite as a journey meteorologist back in "the day". Pretty awesome.

  2. Hi Chuck,
    What really made it awesome is that this is something that happened in our lifetime, unlike so many places we've been where the landscape was formed thousands or even millions of years ago. So when do you want to hike the upper cone?