Monday, May 15, 2017

Mt.St. Helen

Mt. St. Helen is a volcano. I remember when it last exploded 36 or 37 years ago. It seemed so unlikely that there was an active volcano in the continental United States. But then, I still had my midwest mindset about our country.

The image above is a "before" picture that was on display at the Visitor's Center. 

This was taken of her now from the view point at the VC. The top is gone!

On Wednesday we drove Hwy 504 as far east as we were allowed to go. This is into the blast area, but far from the volcano itself. 

There were numerous pullouts that allowed us to view the valley below. It was much deeper before the eruption, and you can still see large amounts of mud and ash. The green forest in the foreground is a Weyerhauser tree farm planted within three years of the blast.

We always take the time to read the informative signs and posters. This one told us how life returns after the total destruction caused by the eruption. 

This one told the story of how tiny spiders are carried into an area by the wind. Small plant seeds are trapped by their webs and are watered by the morning dew that condenses on them. Life is a very strong force.

All of the views were beautiful. 

Lakes were totally destroyed by the blast, but new lakes were also created by the mudflow blocking streams. In the first two years after the blast they did an intense salvage operation to remove usable dead trees. Enough lumber was brought out of the area to construct 65,000 three bedroom homes!  And yet, even all these years later the wreckage seems to be everywhere.

We had our picnic lunch at a table near this lake. I noticed a single fruit tree among the new growth. I wonder if its seed was from an apple tossed by some other picnicker, or from a bird.

Just for fun we tossed our date pits into the woods, but we doubt a palm tree will grow from them. 

The day was just perfect. Not hot, not cold, just sunny with a slight breeze. There were only a few other people on the roads or at the view points. I don't mind crowds, but this was really nice.

We saw this colorful Class C at the lake parking lot. It had a European license plate and this fun EU decal on the side. Most American RVs are so boring by comparison with their generic  neutral colors. Repaints and wraps are usually more colorful, but if you want to retain "resale" value you have to stick with blah! 

Personally I love the dog in the windows of the Cruise America rigs, but then I wear silly, colorful socks.

If you are an RVer, would you choose a more colorful motif if it was available, or would you stick to the standard swooshes?


  1. Thank you for this great photo story about the volcano! Nice pictures! And yes, color is life and we would paint our ALFA like a rainbow, if our bank account .....

  2. So this Class C drove in from Europe? Wait. What?

    Say hi to Washington for me. May is the best time to visit.

    Then again, May may be the best time to visit anywhere in North America.

    1. If May is the best time to visit WA, based on this month, no one would ever come here.

  3. I love visiting Mt St Helens. The volcano blew when I lived in Moscow Idaho, on my wedding day. Made for a very interesting indoor wedding in a small house with 80 people, many of whom couldn't get out of Moscow for days. Including us! We honeymooned with my three teen-aged daughters, my best friend, and my foster mom, all stuck together with no escape. I consider that mountain my very own special volcano.

  4. And no, guess I'm a party pooper, I love our shades of taupe and chocolate paint on the MoHo. I love how she fits into the woods.

  5. Hard to believe that it was that long ago and like yourself we found it hard to believe that there was an active volcano here.
    I'm the one that likes things to stand out but Kathy doesn't like to draw attention to herself so we have the normal paint/decals on our rig.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  6. Great photos! We've got to go see this.


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