Friday, July 18, 2014

Mt. Saint Helens


After au revoirs to Debbie, Jim, and Gayle in the morning, I head inland and cross the Columbia River into Washington.  A new state for me!  The temperature shoots up 16 degrees almost immediately after leaving the coast. 

After 6 weeks in Oregon, I miss her already!  Once the initial shock of the no-sales-tax reality finally set-in, I quickly became accustomed to it, along with the the can’t-pump-your-own-gas state law.  I learned to say (just like my Mom did into the 70's) Can you do the windows, please?.  

Washington has a tough act to follow.


After a rather expected noisy night among the semis at an I-5 rest area, I head out to   

I remember the eruption well.  It happened on May 18, 1980 right before my graduation from college. 

Web Photo

Weeks before the eruption, seismologists gave fair warning after a 4.1 magnitude quake occurred right under the summit.  A crater the size of a football field formed.  Next a massive bulge appeared. It grew ominously larger.  Seven weeks and another 10,000 smaller quakes later, the mountain exploded.  

Two weeks after that, its dust encircled the globe. 



Unfortunately the mountain is covered in haze during my visit.  This is the best I can do.

Mt Saint Helens is but one of hundreds of active volcanoes situated in the Cascade Range.  The most dangerous of which is Mount Rainier.  

Oh boy!  My next stop!


  1. No rumbling from Rainier at present so you should be safe. We really enjoyed our time in Oregon a few years ago and only scratched the surface. Hope to get back one day. Safe travels..

    1. Apparently Rainier's big hazards are mud slides. And cougars and bears and flooding. Happy to report I encountered none of those.

  2. We saw Mount St. Helens from the east side and were lucky it was a clear day when we went. What makes it so fascinating is that this happened in our lifetime.

  3. That is something hard to forget. Now you can see it safely even in the mist.

    1. I remember we were all riveted to the coverage. Only 17 people died thanks to the vigilance of the USGS.

  4. I also remember the Mount St. Helens event of 1980!!! Even in a mist it is still ominous!!!

  5. I flew over the area in a passenger jet a couple of weeks after the event. When the pilot announced where we were, everyone rushed to that side of the airplane. This left the other side of the airplane quite clear for me to photograph Mount Rainier!

    Virtual hugs,



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