Mt. St. Helens

Trip Start Jul 30, 2007
Trip End Aug 22, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Washington
Thursday, August 2, 2007

I spent the day roadtripping up the Oregon Coast to Seattle. Highway 101 abounds with seaside villages and impressively severe pacific coast landscapes. The beaches have rock formations we never find on the east coast. The air temp was around 60 and I didn't see a soul in the water where I stopped around noon.

I was in Astoria, OR by noon. The seaside down has great historical significance. It is the ending point of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Plus, the Settlement of fur trader founded by John Jacob Astor solidified the US' claim on the Pacific Northwest. Yadda Yadda Yadda. More importantly, it is the setting for one of the most important films of my generation: GOONIES! I quickly attempted to hunt down the Goonies house. Sadly the owner has grown tired of tourists with cameras stopping and yelling CHUNK! on his front lawn and gated off the property. Joy vampire.

The next stop, Mt. St. Helen's is one of the most impressive places I have ever been. Pictures are incapable of conveying the force of nature that is the volcano. When the volcano erupted in 1980, the top 1300 feet of mountain just blew off. It created the largest landslide in recorded human history. In only a few hours, the landslide and spurting lava killed every living thing for miles. It buried rivers, relocated lakes and made miles of mountainous landscape barren. My favorite part was the fifty mile journey into the visitors center. You start off in evergreen forests. It is a shady pleasant drive. As you get within 15 miles, you start noticing the change. The trees are much younger, what were once rivers were just gorges with rock. As you reach the final few miles, you just see some low vegetation that has started to regenerate after the blast. Mt. St Helen's is a powerful monument to the sudden violent destruction nature is capable of.

What is amazing is that Mt. St. Helen's is still erupting. Every day it pours out enough rock into the crater to bury a football field 20 feet deep. At this rate they expect it to regrow to its preblast height in 140 years.
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