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Monday, September 24, 2012

Back to Seattle

During my trip to Seattle last month, my son asked what I wanted to do.  I told him I'd like to take a trip to see Mt. St. Helens.  Even though it was a three hour drive each way, he willingly took me.  It was a long ride, but seeing all those mountains made it seem to go fast, for me anyway.  I wasn't driving, but he didn't complain.
As we neared the mountain, I kept seeing these white things along the side of the mountain.  They looked like tombstones, but I didn't think they were.  As we got closer, I could see that they were the stumps of trees that had been knocked down by the force of the volcano.
They show up as white dots on the above photo and you can see some white lines that are the trees that had been knocked down.
When we got to the Johnson Ridge Observatory and parked the car, this is what welcomed us.  They look like sentries guarding the area.

The first thing we did when we got to the observatory was see a short film of the eruption and its aftermath.  And I'm so glad we did.  It was quite informative.  When the film was over, the curtains behind the screen opened and this is what we saw, but it looked much closer than this.

My son had been here before and he commented that the lava dome looked larger since the last time.
I got some good shots of the devastation and the recovery.  

The vegetation is coming back.

It looked to me like the mountain is burping some steam.

I never cease to be amazed at the force of nature and the way part of the mountain has been sliced off.

Yet, the forces of nature are bringing about a regrowth.

There was even some wildlife.

On the way back we stopped at this little restaurant, the only one we saw on the road.  They had a wraparound deck for outdoor dining, but there was no room.  We ate inside where I had an elkburger (my first).  It was delicious, very moist even though it was not as rare as I like it.  For dessert we had cobbler.  I had a peach which was also delicious.

It was a wonderful day.

Now I have to start thinking of places to see on my trip next year.  I think I'll try to fine something closer to the city limits and not push my luck that he will always be so willing to take me where I want to go.

We did some other things, but that's for another day.

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