Visiting Mount Saint Helens in Washington State
A few weeks ago, Jonathan and I took the girls to Washington State to visit their grandparents for the week. While in the area, we decided to drive through, and take short walk around Mount Saint Helens.
Now the last time Jonathan and I were here, was when I was meeting his parents for the first time and we were just friends. I remember having a wicked crush on him and thinking, Ya know, if he is the one, then we will most likely be visiting here again in the future.. and we might have children to take pictures of here someday!
Well, lo and behold! He is indeed the one, and I could not have begun to fathom how precious our two daughters are! While they are still far too young to really appreciate being so close to a live volcano, they still had fun running around and spending time with Grandma and Grandpa!
Once again, my good friend Wikipedia will share with you the significance of Mount Saint Helens! Ahem..
Mount St. Helens or Louwala-Clough (known as Lawetlat’la to the indigenous Cowlitz people, and Loowit to the Klickitat) is an active stratovolcano located in Skamania County, Washington, in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.
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 volcano is located in the Cascade Range and is part of 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 notorious for its major 1980 eruption, 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.
A massive debris avalanche triggered by an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale caused an eruption that reduced the elevation of the mountain’s summit from 9,677 feet to 8,363 feet, replacing it with a 1 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.
As with most other volcanoes in the Cascade Range, Mount St. Helens is a large eruptive cone consisting of lava rock interlayered with ash, pumice, and other deposits. The mountain includes layers of basalt and andesite through which several domes of dacite lava have erupted. The largest of the dacite domes formed the previous summit, and off its northern flank sat the smaller Goat Rocks dome. Both were destroyed in the 1980 eruption.
What is truly trippy about visiting the region of the volcano, is seeing the forest of shattered tree stumps. Just ghostly shards of trees, bent like brittle matchsticks and being overgrown by a tangle of wildflowers. You can almost imagine what it looked like to see them being blown away… creepy!
It was a fun visit, and it was neat to reflect on how far Jonathan and I have come since that summer seven years ago… time flies and so much can change so fast! Feeling very blessed right now!
Do you remember the 1980 volcanic eruption? Where were you when it went down? (Me, I wasn’t born yet, haha..)