The Cascades are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the ring of volcanoes and associated mountains around the Pacific Ocean. Most volcanoes are sleeping and hopefully are not about to erupt in near future. One such volcano I can see right from my house window - it's Mt.Baker.
But I really wanted to see the volcano which was erupted just recently - in 1980. I am taking about Mt.St.Helens. Finally last summer we took a trip over there. It was unforgettable. Here how the volcano looks now:
We wanted to get to the mountain as close as possible, so instead of going to visitor center which located about 30 miles from volcano, we went on Forest service roads, which lead us to Windy Ridge - an observation area only 4 miles (6.4 km) northeast of the crater, overlooking beautiful Spirit lake:
In the morning of Sunday, May 18, 1980 the eruption was signaled by an earthquake and volcano woke up from 123 years of hibernation... An eruption column rose 80,000 feet (24,400 m) into the atmosphere and deposited ash in 11 U.S. states!
Fifty-seven people and thousands of animals were killed. Hundreds of square miles were reduced to wasteland.
Mount St. Helens was left with a crater on its north side. We climb some stairs to try and see inside the crater. Also I took close up photo of melted rocks on a side of the volcano, free of snow:
St. Helens remained active for some time - it produced an additional five explosive eruptions between May and October 1980. And it was building smaller dome inside the crater even until 2008.
Finally, only on July 10, 2008, it was determined that the eruption had ended after more than six months of no volcanic activity. Phew! What a relieve!
Story by Yulia (yuliaart)