Missing a piece on top

Trip Start Apr 08, 2009
Trip End Jun 19, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Washington
Sunday, May 31, 2009

Melanie's blog:
When we drove up the next day to Mt St Helens, we were shocked.  After we reached a certain point, the landscape was no longer forests, but a barren landscape with blacked ground, burnt and fallen trees and randomly scattered boulders.  From Johnstone Observatory we had a perfect view of the mountain. We learned that it had erupted over 20 years ago and was a recently active volcano. It was so exciting and funny because there was snow outside yet it was almost 30 degrees C.

Richard's blog:
 Mt St Helens used to look like Mt Rainier but more like an upside-down cone, until it's north-western side blew off in 1980.  The force of the blast was enormous, and with the landslide, mudflow and blast the eruption flattened a huge area of forest, killed 57 people and generally devastated the area.  It was incredible to still see the devastation even after 29 years, with a few young trees growing up amongst it all.  Now there is a new dome growing in the caldera, which will presumably have its turn at erupting one day.

We spent a night by the lower Columbia River, watching the boats go by, then drove to the Ape Cave, located on the south side of Mt St Helens.  The Ape Cave is a lava tube, formed in an ancient eruption of the volcano.  The lava tube is rather like a railway tunnel, a long cold dark winding tube made of basalt.  It was a bit scary as we walked right to the end, about 1km underground, then turned around and went back again.
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Where I stayed
Columbia River RV Park
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sarabanda on

What an eerie experience!
I remember reading about the Mt St Helens volcanic eruption in the news and seeing the TV reports when it happened - I am surprised that so much of the surrounding landscape remains devastated and bleak - I am looking forward to hearing more about your experiences when you get home.

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