Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Visiting Mt St. Helens

The weekend before last, we had a family outing to visit Mount St Helens. This was the longest outing we have had with LittleTiger so far (9 hours) and he seemed to have taken it well. It was my first time visiting St. Helens, and the visit left a lasting impact.

Mount St. Helens is an active volcano which erupted in 1980 after more than 120 years. The eruption dropped the mountain's summit by more than 1300 feet and replaced it with a mile wide horse-shoe shaped crater. It wiped away about 230 square mile of forest area and caused a great deal of destruction. Today, almost 30 years later, the impact of the 1980 eruption is still very visible and the volcano continues to spew smoke and ash.

Mount St Helens & Spirit Lake- pre 1980 (courtesy: Wikipedia)

Mount St Helens today - picture from our camera

We spent a few hours at the Johnston Ridge Observatory where we saw a short film that showed us a video of the eruption. In the evening we continued to linger around the site even after the observatory had closed and all the other visitors had left. The place was completely silent. But the image of the explosion we had seen in the film and the destruction we could still see around us left us with an eerie feeling.

View from the observatory

We had the place all to ourselves for some pictures with LittleTiger

I have promised myself to visit St Helens again in the near future and maybe spend a weekend there. Since the last two years, I have also been dreaming about hiking up St Helens. I have not given up on the idea totally yet...just need to get comfortable hiking with LittleTiger and motivate some more friends to accompany us. Hopefully I won't have to wait very long.


bab_ax said...


Abha said...

Nice pics..
maybe we can plan a hike next summer together