Thursday, May 19, 2011

We had a BLAST!

Yesterday was the 31st anniversary of the 1980 Mt. St. Helens eruption - and my high school graduation! I have wanted to visit the area ever since we moved to Oregon in 1989, but never have. The other night on the news it was mentioned that all the visitors' centers, including the newly revamped Johnston Ridge Observatory closest to the mountain, would be free on the anniversary, so I decided it was the perfect time for Brian and I to hit the road for a field trip.

The weather could not have been more perfect, and we could not have had a more wonderful time. Brian was a pretty good travel companion - yes, there were quite a few "Are we there yet?" questions, but overall we had a pleasant drive up to Johnston Ridge. There we ate our sack lunch, took in two Forest Ranger talks and a movie on the eruption, experienced all the exhibits, and Brian bought himself a longed-for "explorer hat" as a souvenir. Then we headed back down, stopping at a few viewpoints along the way for more pictures before getting to the Weyerhauser Forest Learning Center. We toured that center and watched their video of the eruption, viewed elk from their lookout point (LOVE my camera's zoom!), Brian played with some kids at the playground while I knit a few rows on Sakaki, then we hiked their forest trail. That last activity worked up a sweat and an appetite, which we satisfied at a quaint little restaurant overlooking the North Fork of the Toutle River which survived the 1980 mudflow and advertised homemade cobbler (yum!).

Brian asked if we could make this an annual event; I think that's a dandy idea. Go, if ever you have the chance! Photos from our our trip can be found here.

That's it for yesterday from . . .

7 comments:

Susan said...

Those are great pictures! It sounds like it was a perfect mother/son adventure.

Kelly Bartels said...

Loved the pictures, what a fabulous place to live!

Karen B. said...

This sounds like a great trip, Michelle. I'd love to see it sometime, I will always remember the eruption since I was also a graduating senior that spring! Hadn't realized that we were the same age. Glad Brian enjoyed it so much, too. It sounds like a great annual tradition to start.

Ruth @ Hope, Joy and Faith Farm said...

I was in Portland that day, I remember the ash falling so thick. I graduated a year later...

Franna said...

Now I'm jealous! I climbed St. Helens once, years before it blew up, and haven't been back. The visitor's center in those days was high on the mountainside, so it wasn't such a long climb. Long enough! The pink flowering bush is a flowering current, a beautiful native that isn't nearly popular enough. Tell Brian that's a great hat!

kenleighacres.com said...

Love that picture of you and Brian! What wonderful memories that were made.

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

I've been several times, and feel a personal attachment really; my Mom and Dad had driven past Mt Saint Helens that day, missed the eruption by about an hour headed home. I was working at a plant here in town and one of the regular truckers brought a pan of ash to me :)
We took my Mom and the kids up there a few years ago, and I actually got a picture of the elk in the valley through the far viewer with my camera, very cool picture :) What a wonderful way to spend the day with Brian!