Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mt. St. Helens - West Side

After more than a month in glorious Oregon, we caught back up with our WIN friends in tiny Toutle, Washington, where someone had arranged that we would stay in a field next to the school. This is a win/win for these little towns, as we contributed over $300 to the school directly in addition to any other purchases we made in the area.

The benefit of this location, is that it is right on the way to Mt. St. Helens. Of course they probably didn't think it was a benefit in 1980 when the mountain erupted and the Toutle River carried logs, ash, and rubble into town.

But today she's calm and we drove over several of these lovely bridges.

Overlooking the Toutle River where all the debris changed the valley so drastically.

Up to Johnston Ridge Observatory for this view of the mountain. It was a little cloudy, but still an impressive sight.

The observatory (really more of a visitor center) is very informative and the movie is one of the best I've ever seen. It must have been designed to keep the kids awake with a lot of loud noises and special effects.

Then we took the walk uphill through the gorgeous wild flowers and tress snapped by the blast.


On the way back down, we stopped at Coldwater Lake which didn't even exist before Mt. St. Helens blew and formed a natural dam.

At the little museum in nearby Castle Rock, they had these 'before' and 'after' pictures.

Isn't Mother Nature amazing?


  1. The power of Mother Nature never ceases to amaze ... from destruction to re-birth.

  2. You used the right word on those wild flowers WOW! WHAT a gorgeous lake I have never heard of Coldwater Lake--that last photo is unbelievable! Finally it has cooled back to the 90's here in the south..whew.

  3. My late wife and I visited Mt. St. Helens last year. It was interesting to see your pictures and see how much the area has changed in just one year.

  4. I don't know how you do it, you are able to get cloudless pictures of all the volcanos.

    When I took my little granddaughters up to Mt St Helens, it was so cloudy, you could barely see you hand in front of your face. They were disappointed.

    A re-visit is in the works. I need to bring you along to finally be able to see it!

  5. After reading all your posts from far away places, its strange to see your stories of places in "my back yard." Glad you enjoyed St Helens and that movie - didn't you just love it when the curtain opened? That is my favorite part! Sure glad the grand lady decided to come out for you.

  6. The flowers are stunning. Glad you are still having fun and seeing great areas of our country.