Tuesday, September 29, 2015

1980-2015 Mt St Helens

MSH80 eruption mount st helens 05-18-80-dramatic-edit.jpg
web photo
My next stop on my "most awesome adventure", after a quick but fun visit at Ridgefield, was up one exit on I-5N where I camped @ Paradise Point campground for one night.  This time of year most campgrounds have maybe one loop and one restroom open...I hate that! WE are still paying full price but we get way less...That's about all I can say for Paradise Point.  The next day I headed right up to Mt St Helen's it was not far away...

Its amazing how much regrowth has taken place since the May 18, 1980 blast! These are the reminders of how it was ....these trees left in place as they were blasted down by the force of the explosion on that day!  I do see some new trees standing and showing color so one day this whole mountainside will be covered with maples and aspen and whatever else...
                   and some trees have been planted...this is a stand of noble fir I think!

SO the blast and the glacier mud flow changed the landscape forever on that day and took over 50 human lives with it.....1,500 elk, 5,000 deer and countless other critters!! It was the largest landslide in history!

...but it was not all about the smoke and ash, new lakes were formed like Coldwater lake when Coldwater creek was dammed by debris and the course of the creek was changed... within 4 yrs it had everything any lake has, birds, fish, vegetation.

...and its one of the most beautiful I've seen! Only Mother Nature can create this...

SO Happy they are keeping it off limits to camping and such... it is pristine!!  I saw a pair (new life bird) of Barrow's Goldeneye..

and a Bald Eagle came down to land for a moment...

St Helen's now has 3/4 of the dome missing! And yet it still smolders....so who knows when it could happen again...there was a small eruption in 2004! 

There is a wonderful but scary film of the events leading up to the blast and the blast itself... and some great exhibits in the VC on Johnston Ridge Observatory, I would highly recommend visiting St Helen's its a magical area IM happy it's  now part of the public lands, we need more and more to protect and save...

every stump tells the story of the blast...

Many refused to leave their homes when the mandatory evacuation orders were given, resident Harry Truman had lived in the shadow of the Mt for 50 years he refused to leave his home...he said, "Im coming down feet first if Im coming down at all," ...he was 83. 

I stayed one whole day but would rather have stayed longer...

There is a Campground down the mountain near the first Visitor's Center, called SeaQuest.  Again, it was mostly closed up...the showers were old and in need of a good cleaning, and they charge full price...so State Parks need to improve..next morning it was time to Blaze a new trail farther north..

next stop Mt Rainier. 

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.


  1. OH MY! how very beautiful your pictures are. The area is sure coming back to life. AND you got a picture of a Bald Eagle and crisp as can be. Can't wait for your next post. Be Safe

  2. So very fun to see the PNW through your eyes..... Actually it's been a while since we've been to the mountain... Or what's left of it. Our one son lives in Tacoma so we drive right past it from Eugene, but always in kind of a hurry these days. Agree totally with you on public lands and I'm sorry that Washington State Parks aren't up to snuff. Thet used to be better.


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