Mount St. Helens

After our thwarted attempt to visit Mount St. Helens last fall, we decided she would be more likely to be receiving visitors in August. We took a detour yesterday on our way home from the coast to see. (Understand, Mount St. Helens is a destination. It’s not “on the way” to anywhere else. Approximately 50 miles in, and then 50 miles back out.)

The clouds cast a shade on her during our visit, so pristine pictures were not possible, but at least we could see the mountain this time. We could have taken a 14-mile hike to get a little closer, but we didn’t have that kind of time.

Pictures and stories in the visitors’ center were fascinating. One interesting tidbit we learned was that on the day the volcano erupted, people 20 miles away heard nothing, but people 500 miles away heard the eruption.

Even 30+ years later it’s obvious that “something” happened to the landscape.

Scrubby bushes, young trees, and wildflowers grew up through the ash around the remains of the ancient trees that lived there previously.

Do you remember when Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980? I was in 8th grade and we lived in Louisiana at the time. Friends who lived in this area at the time tell me that ash covered the ground around here (300+ miles away) for weeks or months afterwards.


  • Denise

    I remember hearing the news over TransWorld Radio out of Swaziland…we still lived in Lesotho, Africa at the time. I will post a picture later of one of my favorite tea cups. It is made with ashes from Mt. St. Helen. It is a lovely mottled pale brown/cream in the daintiest of shapes!
    So glad you were able to visit this neat place in our beautiful USA!

  • Jan

    So glad you got to visit this time!

    300 miles (or so) away in our little town of CDA, around 3:00 on a Sunday afternoon, it got as dark as midnight. I watched the "cloud" coming our way from my folks' yard. I went inside to tell the family (we were all there for Sunday dinner)that the mountain had blown and that was why the sky was growing darker. They finally believed me when it became pitch black and they heard a report on the news…haha. One of those moments when you always remember where you were and what you were doing.

    For a few days, everyone wore masks to avoid breathing the fine ash particles and we tried not to drive our automobiles much, as the ash was clogging the air filters and causing engine trouble.

    Pretty soon people were gathering the ash, and making all kinds of creative crafts with it.

    Pretty cool memory.

  • Cathy

    Yes to everything that's been said. We live 300 miles away, heard the explosion, and were dumped on by ash. It truly was a mess for a long time afterwards. It didn't melt into the ground, but stayed on top like cement. I wrote about it on my blog a few years back. Put volcanic eruptions in my search box and it should bring up some pix of my kids playing in it.

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