Mt St Helens- a nice trip even on a cloudy day   Leave a comment

I went out to Mt St Helens this past Saturday to test out what a visit for my parents and two siblings would be when they are here in a couple weeks. Unfortunately, putting the trip off from the previous weekend to this past weekend didn't give Portland any clearer weather. In fact, it alternated bizarrely from 70s and sunshine to hail and 40 mph winds during the afternoon. When we first got there around lunchtime, it was very misty and mysterious and peaceful, and we went straight up hoping to get to the Johnston Ridge Observatory. Then we found out it is closed until May 18. Oh well. At least it will be open when my family arrives.

We then took the return trip back in which we pulled over at various pullouts on the road and at a few viewpoints. Even though there was actually snow when we got high enough, the roads are wonderfully well maintained and clear, and as we got down the sun of course came out.

We didn't walk more than 1/4 a mile and that was only at the first stop by the lake on pavement, no hiking at all. All other shots are from pullouts and various visitor center and viewpoints. I would say that going up to the top and then working your way down is a good way to see Mt St Helens so you can see the epicenter, and then follow the trail of what happened as you go down the mountains.

Don't expect it to look like the pictures from 10 years ago with all ash and mud and grayness. Instead of being a place of destruction, you can really see the area recovering and earth pulling itself up by its bootstraps, which is more a place of rebirth. It was a really different experience from my visits to Hawaii's Volcano Park- instead of feeling like I was on another planet, I felt much more enveloped in the context of the life that was here then and now, which was a neat experience.

Here are some of my favorite shots from our cameras that day.






Warning for animals against getting fat:





Posted May 5, 2009 by pechluck in Uncategorized

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