Eerie Anniversary: Mount St. Helens

cool cloud

Now that I am living in earthquake territory, the fact that today marks the 40th anniversary of Mount. St. Helens’ most recent eruption is a stark reminder of the earth’s power, and the power to shake us out of our daily complacency at any second.

I can’t let this anniversary pass without a decent amount of acknowledgment, respect and awe.

Before the eruption, Mount St. Helens was to be a popular recreation spot. Lots of trees, trails, a magnificent mountain, boating on Spirit Lake.

MtSt Helens card
1953 Postcard

The lake was beloved by picnickers and families. I recall a woman remarking sadly after the eruption, “Spirit Lake was gone.” I found a charming vintage postcard, furnished by the Washington State Progress Commission, showing a uniformed serviceman and his family enjoying a picnic amidst the Pacific Northwest scenery. The back of the card reads “Write the commission … for Victory File for use in planning your first after-war vacation.”  mt st helens2

I vaguely recall my visit to the national park back in 2007. On my way there, I saw a lot of destruction. Felled trees, layers of ash in the Toutle  River.

Here are some photos from that visit.

river1
Toutle River

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the park, I looked out over the scene and the topped cone. It still lives. Scientists keep a regular eye on its activity.  lahar area

But flowers and plants have returned, and hikers visit every year. I need to return to see how it’s evolved since I visited.

nice trunk

 

For now, I am thankful that the eruption didn’t reach Seattle. But we live along the Ring of Fire and that’s little comfort.

ghosts

Published by

Joan E. Miller

I live in the amazing Pacific Northwest. I'm a writer, photographer, birder, nature lover. I'm also a gardener, of food, flowers and shrubs.

2 thoughts on “Eerie Anniversary: Mount St. Helens”

  1. I appreciate that you took the time to stand and acknowledge this.

    I read that after the Sendai 9.1 earthquake in Japan a big stretch – hundred of miles – of the coastline of the main island dropped 2 feet and the whole island moved 8 feet eastwards. So little for the Earth but so much for us.

    I read there was a 6.5 in Nevada on Friday.

    On a personal note, an earthquake woke me out of my sleep when I was in Maebashi in Japan in 1992 or ’93 – around that time, not sure.

    Like

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