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.

4 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

  2. Lovely article and photos, Joan, and the old postcards are particularly colorful and vivid.

    Amazing that it’s been 40 years (!) since the eruption, I do recall when it happened.

    Like

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