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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Our trip to Mt.St.Helen.

About three years ago I moved to North West Washington, just some 2 hours north from Seattle. I like to explore areas where I live, and I make lots of trips to Cascade range of mountains.
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)


osovictoria said...

I live in southern Oregon and we got a nice layer of ash, it seemed the sky was darker for days as the ash slowly fell.

lanadearg said...

very beautiful photos!

Katrinshine said...

VEry interesting!

IrinaN said...

Great trip! I wish I was there. Definitely, I need to plan a trip to WA :)

Yana said...

What a great virtual tour!Wonderful story and awesome pictures! Thank you for sharing!

Unknown said...

very interesting

SocksAndMittens said...

Great post. We lived in WA state for a while but I never had chance to see the mt.St. Helen that close. Thank you for your story, Yulia!

AlexMOS said...

Incredible beauty of nature!

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