Friday, July 15, 2011

Mount St. Helen's Volcano

Photo by me of the Johnston Ridge Observatory.  Cold rain and fog settled on Mt. St. Helen's and stayed there the whole drive up the trail to the top most accessible viewpoint; The Johnston Ridge Observatory.  We paid our admission fee of $8 per person with no discounts to walk about the observatory.  I would rather pay the $8 per person then be caught and pay the $500 fine.  Though the views that day I doubt were even worth the gas used or the admission fee I can now say that I've been there, done that and have the souvenirs to prove it.

"They put all the trees in a tree museum".  Seriously though they did haul in the remains of one tree after the eruption blew the top off it.  It looks rather like a Halloween prop from a Tim Burton flic.  The forestry people take their trees seriously too bad they don't take their displays serious enough.  On the display were these little doors with question on them.  You lift the doors to see the answers.  In the set up of the display some idiot obviously didn't know what they were doing as the answers for two questions were under the wrong doors.  Oh and its not easily changed either.  To fix it would cause damage to the display.

"Are you older than a rock?".  I am.  Hmm...makes me feel like I'm older than dirt to see something like a chunk of rock younger than I am.  But that's okay I'm much prettier than a chunk of rock.  Speaking of rocks, my husband purchase for me a few rocks.  Well they used to be hot rock from Mt. St. Helen's, now they are emerald set into earrings and a ring for me. 

Photo of the sediment dam by my husband.  Around 1400hrs when we were traveling back down Mt.St.Helen's the cloud cover began to lift.  Of course it did, we were leaving the area.  My husband was able to finally get a few good photos of the lower valley areas damaged by the volcano eruption in 1981. 

We stopped in Hoffstadt on the mountain for lunch.  J had an elk burger and I had a bleu cheese bacon burger.  I realized I shouldn't be eating a beef or bacon item but it tasted so darn good.  Later I paid for it.

One of my photos I took while at the observatory at the top part of the trail.  The land is still badly scarred by the most recent of the volcanic activity and may not fully heal for another 50 years.  Inside the mountain, deep underground is the hot molten lava just waiting to boil to the surface again.  The lava dome is growing, sometimes only an inch sometimes several dump truck loads of dirt a minute.  We can only wait and see when it could erupt again.  I just hope I'm not here when it happens.

Over all the trip there wasn't too bad considering how early we had to get up in the morning to get down to the mountain range.  The souvenir shopping I did was well worth the trip making my xmas shopping list almost complete.   I didn't buy cliche' type souvenirs, no I bought classy ones that can be used, worn, or put on the mantel without looking gaudy.  I still think I should have purchased the Bigfoot t-shirt for J's brother but I didn't so its too late for that, unless I go back again.

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