Friday, November 09, 2007

We went to Mount St. Helens and all I got was ....

"Mount St. Helens is an active stratovolcano in Skamania County, Washington, in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is 96 miles south of Seattle and 53 miles northeast of Portland, Oregon. Mount St. Helens takes its English name from the British diplomat Lord St Helens, a friend of explorer George Vancouver who made a survey of the area in the late 18th century. The mountain is in the Cascade Range and is part the Cascade Volcanic Arc, a segment of the Pacific Ring of Fire that includes over 160 active volcanoes. This volcano is well known for its ash explosions and pyroclastic flows.

Mount St. Helens is most famous for its catastrophic eruption on May 18, 1980, which was the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States. Fifty-seven people were killed; 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles of railways, and 185 miles of highway were destroyed.

The eruption caused a massive debris avalanche, reducing the elevation of the mountain's summit from 9,677 ft to 8,365 ft, and replacing it with a mile-wide horseshoe-shaped crater. The debris avalanche was up to 0.7 cubic miles in volume. The Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument was created to preserve the volcano and allow for its aftermath to be scientifically studied."

Our last day out and we get to the highlight of the trip Mount St. Helens and the Visitor Center.

This is the first visitor center on highway 504, the Silver Lake Center.

Scrabble Queen was a little ahead of me getting to the center while I took this picture.

Well this is the closest we got to seeing the volcano (a picture of it in the center) with Scrabble Queen reluctantly posing (cute isn't she) with a big smile.

The center is very nice and despite the fog and overcast ruining the view outside the Visitor's center was very cool.

Surveying the volcano was dangerous work just prior to the eruption. It was one of the most spectacular natural events in my lifetime.

The force of the explosion totally destroyed this tree leaving only this broken and twisted remnant.

This was a great display of how to read tree rings. This tree began it's life in 1372.

Yikes! a bobcat

This glass mosaic table depicts the eruption.

There is a great nature trail through the Silver Lake Wetlands next to the Visitors Center.

Great foliage and, on a great day, I'm sure a wonderful view of St Helens.

There are observation decks, piers and trails all throughout the area.

There are binoculars set up for the more distant views.

I stopped at the rock wall for this picture and ...

...this picture that almost looks like the volcano we never saw.

I was pretty disappointed with the weather as was Scrabble Queen so I took what I could like these white berries that looked a lot like Hominy.

Even the mushroom I found had blown it's top.

I did however like this colorful fall picture with a moss covered stump at it's center.

Scrabble Score ~ Scrabble Queen 329 ~ The Contender 340

Quote of the Day ~
"No matter how rich you become, how famous or powerful, when you die the size of your funeral will still pretty much depend on the weather. "~ Michael Pritchard

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©Paul Viel