Volcano 101

Yesterday we headed to Mt St Helens a long drive out on windy roads stopping along the way at the turn outs to take in the sites. It was quite hazy, a result of smoke from a bushfire being blown into the area we later learned. Mount St. Helens is an active stratovolcano located in Skamania County, Washington.

Mount St. Helens is most notorious for its catastrophic eruption on May 18, 1980, at 8:32 am the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States. Fifty-seven people were killed; 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles of railways, and 185 miles of highway were destroyed. A massive debris avalanche triggered by an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, caused an eruption, reducing the elevation of the mountain’s summit from 9,677 ft to 8,365 ft and replacing it with a 1 mile wide horseshoe-shaped crater. The debris avalanche was up to 0.7 cubic miles in volume. The Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument was created to preserve the volcano and allow for its aftermath to be scientifically studied.
You can still see the devastation from this event over 32 years later. Hills that have been stripped bare and trees that have been shredded from the blast still liter the area. This monument was really interesting and Mt St Helens was still blowing off a little steam just to let you know it was there.

We then drove back toward the coast to stay at a seaside town aptly named Seaside in Oregon. We have never been to Oregon but what we have seen so far we like. Seaside is your typical seaside location with a wide long beach that reminds me of those in California.
We took a stroll around the beach and streets and then had a delish seafood dinner before heading back to the motel for the night.
The next morning after a walk down to the beach we headed off and took the long drive down the 101 coast going in and out of towns. Cannon beach is an extremely quaint town with wonderful residences along the beach. Shops with window boxes filled with flowers and shingled beach homes filled the street.
Highlights of the drive we some seals swimming and awesome rock formations off the coast, the weird fog that came down on us in the sunshine so that we could not even see the water, the Oregon sand dunes and the elk we watched grazing in a field after we turned off from the coast on our way to our hotel for the night.

With getting into the motel after 8pm we are tired…yet another big day tomorrow as well…I must sleep.

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One Response to “Volcano 101”

  1. They sure have some strange looking cows over there 🙂

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