It really is all about the Volcano. But it turns out the mass of natural devastation and transformation of the landscape – was a result of the ensuing landslide. The whole top and one side of the mountain just sunk and slid away down the valley. The blast and ash that followed made a hell of a mess on top of everything.
Now it is all about the regrowth. If it interests you – you should try to see Mt St Helen in the next few years. Mother Nature has been working her magic – and soon there will be too many trees & alpine flowers to even see the trunks and remains of the fallout from that terrible blast.
As it is a bad location to try and access in the winter – loads of snow up there – there is an information center with a theater, interperative display and shop very near the junction of the main Fwy 5 & Hwy 505. lots of parking – we left one car there and headed up to the mountain together. A long haul into the main viewing center (55 km) but the trip gives a strong sense of the impending fallout. The river filled with landslide gravel & silt. The hillsides bare and gullies still full of greenery and bush.
I won’t expand on what to expect at the Johnson Ridge observatory viewpoint. I think everyone’s experience is going to be different – kind of like the Grand Canyon.
We all enjoyed the film presentation (wait for the fabulous ending…!) and the memorial display was really well presented. Brian, Mark & Pat headed off to do a walk up the ridge trail nearby (very hot by this time) and I parked my butt on a bench to take in the mountain and remains of that short few minutes of eruption.
I think of it as Mother Nature burping. She must have had serious gas that day. Wow.