Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mount St Helens NM

After our visit to the John Day Fossil Beds in Mitchell/Dayville, OR, we drove up to the Mount St Helens area of southern Washington, on Monday afternoon.  Our drive up there included driving by or in view several snow-covered peaks, including Mt Hood.  Here are a few pics Nancy took from the moving motorhome.  Not sure what this was called, but it was south of Portland, about 80 miles. 
 And I believe these are of Mt Hood.
 Sorry about the bugs on our windshield.  Hard to keep the little buggers (sorry) off during this time of year.
We drove to Lakeside RV Park on Spirit Lake HWY, which was still about 45 miles from Mount St Helens.  It was about 4 in the afternoon, and we went to the visitor center about a mile back from our RV park.  Unfortunately, it turns out that this was the State Park center, not the national.  The young man was nice however, and told us that the Johnston Peak visitor center was open till 6, and that it would be good if we went this evening, because tomorrow was supposed to be cloudy, and perhaps would not be visible.
 Well, in spite of just having driven the Big Wheels for about five hours, we hopped in Miss Jeepy and drove like the wind to the visitor center.  So, what do you think?  It was just a beautiful evening to be here and enjoying another one of our National Treasures.
 I didn't want to pose, but Nancy insisted.  I'm not nomally a "ham".  The pic below is a peak directly bhind if you were looking straight at Mt St Helens.  It has a name but I can't remember what it was.  At the very top of the tall peak, is a laser and camer and other sensitive equipment that monitors Mt St Helens' movements.  She has been rather quiet since 2008, but is still an active volcano.
 We got there just time to hear a ranger talk about Mt St Helens and her activity over the past 32 years.  The talk was very informative and as usual, educational.  He even had many pics on posterboard that he proudly displayed for all to see.  Neat!  See Miss Nancy down on the end leaning against the rail?  With her trusty camera?

 Note the dome rebuilding within the crater.  It has grown some 1200 feet since the original eruption in May of 1980.
Note all the sediment crevices below the mountain, where the eruption flowed down the north side.  The numbers and statistics of this awesome eruption are just unbelievable.  We later saw a video, just before the center closed at 6, but wondered around for another hour just amazed at the horific blast, and the recovery over the past 32 years.
 These purple flowers are all over the mountain and are called Penstemon I believe.  And the red-orange ones are called Indian Paintbrush.
 Nancy checking out the peaks on the large pedestal directory.  There were about 15 peaks identified on the circular dial and were labeled in raised copper-berrylium letters, with arrows pointing to their location.  Neat!
 Note in the distance the large sediment gulches created over the past 32 years from rain/snow melt.  In some places, sediment measures hundreds of feet.  Below is Nancy's zoom taking in a close-up of the pic above.
Well this about wraps up our visit to the breath taking area of Mount St Helens in south west Washington.  Even though we only spent one evening here, it was a busy evening and we took some quality pics.  Oh, the next morning, Tuesday July 10, the young man was right.  It was cloudy and looked like it could rain any moment.  Wow!  We were lucky to have such beautiful weather to visit this trembling treasure.  We were now off to Cascades National Park way up north near the Canadian border.  So, till then, Joe & Nancy on the road again.