Friday, August 31, 2018

Mount Saint Helens #Hikes (Post 1) - #SaturdaySnapshot

This past week I spent three days and two nights in the Mount St. Helens area of Washington state. The adventure was organized by the Auburn (WA) Senior Activity Center and included transportation, lodging, and guidance on several hikes. We had a great time. I took so many photos that I'll post about this getaway for the next several weeks. 

Today's snapshots are from the Johnston Ridge Observatory in the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. First, we saw an informative video and exhibits about the volcano's 1980 eruption and the devastating aftermath. Scientists are observing the mountain's renewal without interfering in any way... a case of letting Nature take its course. 
[Click on photos to enlarge.]

These panels tell the stories of some of the casualties, as well as the survivors.

It's hard to believe much of this barren area was once a thriving, old-growth forest.

The top of Mount St. Helens was obscured by clouds when we visited the observatory. However, the destruction caused by the eruption is evident. 

Now, thirty-eight years after the eruption, weathered tree-sized logs provide proof of the strength of the blast. Some had rocks embedded in them.

A few women from our group took a short hike in the Mount Margaret Back Country area.

The clouds lifted the next day and we got a good look at Mount St. Helens and Spirit Lake from the Norway Pass Trail. I'll post those photos and more in the coming weeks.

Thanks for stopping by!

Links to more info:
Johnston Ridge Observatory
Johnston Ridge Observatory - Fees, etc.
Mount St. Helens Hikes

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads. 
To participate: 
Post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on West Metro Mommy Read's website (link: HERE) Photos can be old or new and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online.


  1. This was one of the most frightening natural events in human history. We get complacent, and then Mother Nature does her thing. How moving it must have been to be right there, and also at the museum. I'll look forward to your upcoming photos.

  2. Brave you, hiking on a volcano! I suppose scientists can tell you now if you are in danger, in any case. It must be startling to see things embedded in trees. That takes a lot of force.

    Can't wait to see more of your hike!

  3. Lynne: I lived in Texas when Mount St. Helens blew - busy with work and raising a child - and I didn't realize how significant that event must have been. Visiting the Johnston Ridge Observatory really educated me. My hiking friends (many of whom lived in Washington at the time) also shared their experiences surrounding the eruption.

  4. Deb: I didn't feel brave. Both Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier are closely monitored these days. The whole trip was an education and an adventure... and fun!

  5. It seems like just the other day when it time flies. Thanks for sharing the photos...and I am in awe.


  6. Laurel-Rain: It's hard to believe that the volcano's destruction is still very evident after so many years. The eruption must have been a terrifying event.

  7. I appreciate your photos, Sandy. I didn't know at least a couple of things: that Mt. St. Helens still looks about as devastated now as it did 25-30 years ago when we visited the Johnston Center and environs; and that the Auburn Senior Center arranges overnight stays as well as day trips. When St. Helens blew, it spewed ash as far east as Montana. It filled a river in Cowlitz county with sludge and silt. It rained grit on the Seattle area for days--skies and cars looked worse than with the recent fire fallout.

  8. Thanks for sharing your Mt. St. Helens experiences, Judy. That must have been scary. Some of the areas around the mountain have recovered somewhat. The lumber companies (Weyerhauser, etc.) have replanted their large tracts of land, too. However, they plant only one species of tree, so the "restored" area doesn't have the health and diversity of a natural forest. Besides being educational, the trip with the senior center women was lots of fun. We go on an overnight hike once every year. This is my second one.

  9. I went decades ago before mountain blew. Then a few years ago. Nature doe heal itself. Thanks for great photos.

  10. Wow. What a place. It is good that nature heals itself.

  11. Colleen and Klara: From what I learned, scientists are learning a lot from the healing process. I think they're smart to let nature take its course.
    Thank you both for stopping by and leaving comments.

  12. Wow, that is amazing. Great pics. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  13. Thanks for stopping by, csuhpat1. I'm glad you enjoyed my photos.

  14. Wow, stunning photos, Sandra. I well remember seeing the videos of the eruption on TV. It must have been a powerful experience to visit and see the extent of the destruction. Sounds like a great trip!


    Book By Book

  15. Sandra, I so enjoyed your photos and report on Mount. St. Helens. Did you camp out or is there a lodge where you and the other women stayed overnight?
    It's fun to read the responses to your trip. Everyone has a Mount St. Helen's story! Well, here is mine: I was living in Olympia when the mountain blew and woke up to ashes on my car, ashes on the lawn, ashes in the streets. I was headed to California to visit family and so scooped up the ashes in jars and brought them as souveniers.
    Some of you said it feels like it was only yesterday. To me it does feel like it was a long, long time ago. When I count the losses during these years, I think of the friends who moved away and I don't see much anymore, and I remember the people I loved who are gone forever. When I count the joys in these past 38 years, I got more than my share: a husband/friend/soulmate and the realizatioin of my life-time passion of writing and publishing my stories.

  16. Sue: It was a great trip! I can't wait to find out where the group will be going for our overnight hiking excursion next year.

    Irma: Thank you for sharing your Mount St. Helens story. It's hard for me to imagine the impact the eruption had on the whole area. Next Saturday I'll share photos of the camp where the group stayed. It's near Randle, WA.


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