Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mt. Saint Helen's

When the volcano blew in 1980, my Justin was just about to celebrate his 6th birthday.  It was postponed by a couple of weeks because our home town was buried in ash.  Being 3 at the time, I only remember glimpses.  Still, it was a major event in both of our lives (since, of course, it didn't only encompass just the one day).  

33 Years Later
I am a firm believer in visiting a place.  I know visiting an historical site isn't always possible, practical or wise.  When it is--possible, practical and wise--visiting a place can give perspective and understanding that can be effectively learned no other way.

They have done such a great job with the Mt. St. Helen's Visitor's Centers.  They are kind of spendy so we just picked to pay for one--the one at Johnston's Ridge.  

It is devastating.  It is hard to over-state how mind-blowing the size and proximity of the volcano.  

The area immediately around the mountain was covered in an old-growth forest.  When I say old-growth, I'm not kidding.  The trees were over 500 years old with trunks 8 feet in diameter.  They were blown completely off and became part of the blast.  Massive trees that left only a few shattered trunks.

Don't ask.  I wouldn't know what to say.
A once VERY alive landscape is covered in pumice and little vegetation.  

It has been 10 years since our first and only other visit.  The last time we came, our oldest was five and we only had three children.  My, oh, my.  How times have changed.

There are quite a few wildfires in the western states right now.  It was smoky!

If you ever get the chance, it is a worthwhile trip.  It is not on the way to anywhere and it is a fairly long drive, but it is a place that needs to be experienced!

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