At one of the visitor centers on the way up, we stopped for a break and I enjoyed the maple leaves and moss.
Everywhere we have gone in the state this year we have seen the vine maples in glorious colors. Usually we don't see them when we are up in August, so it must be because of all the rain and cool weather that they had this year.
This is a new bridge built over the valley, entering the blast zone.
The bridge begins on the left edge of the red blast zone. This is the area that was directly effected by the blast.
The water winding through is the Toutle River and the wide brown ribbon is the path that the mad rush of ash, mud and timber took as it roared down the mountain and valley.
Those of us who lived in Washington at the time all have stories of where we were when "she blew". I was at home in Everett, Washington, several hours away and it was loud, sounding like someone was blowing up stumps with dynamite down the road.
This is the view from the parking lot at the Johnston Observatory across from the crater and dome. It didn't look promising. I really felt for my little guy and prayed that we would be able to see something.
As you can see, I took a few pictures anyway, just to remember. They aren't too focused because it was starting to drizzle heavily.
Well, that didn't daunt the spirit of my almost 7 year old. Here he is with his rain jacket on, happy to be at Mt. St. Helens.
We arrived just in time to see the last showing of "A Message From The Mountain." Our kids have never been to a theater so it was fun for them and D was on the edge of his seat watching the whole time. At the end, they open the curtains... and you are supposed to see Mt. St. Helen's. I saw it this way in 1997 and is really awe inspiring after watching the volcano movie. This day there were only clouds. That's weather in the mountains for you!
Again, had the mountain been out, you would have seen it here.
This last shot shows Spirit Lake in the distance on the left. It is filled with all the timber from trees which were blown into it from the blast. Even though we had not seen the top/crater of the mountain, it was quite interesting. One of these days I will scan some of my photos from 1997 for comparison. I took quite a few then. My friend Jutta and her husband and son were here from Germany. Engraved in my mind is the memory of her little one nursing during the movie showing and how is head POPPED up when the mountain blew on screen! Still makes me chuckle. He's a big boy now, almost 12.