So, I’ve just had a rather lovely day at Mount St. Helens.
If you don’t click for the larger version, you’ll hate yourself more than you hate me right now, which is a lot. This is the view of Mount St. Helens from Elk Rock Viewpoint. In the center left, you’ll see Mount Adams peeking over a ridge. In the center, all that knobby topography down by the river is the debris avalanche. Look up from it, and you’ll see the rampart formed by several pyroclastic flows coming down from the amphitheatre created in the May 18, 1980 eruption. And, of course, center right is the Lady herownself. The river valley you’re looking in to is the North Fork Toutle River, which hasn’t got much water in it at the moment.
Hate me yet? Kinda sorta not really? Here.
So here’s a little lake created in the May 18th blast. Totally damned up by landslide debris. And it’s a perfect delight on a blazing hot summer’s day – nice, cool breeze, shade and views. From bottom to top: Coldwater Lake, delta, ridge, Mount St. Helens. We will have a lot to talk about when it comes time to write up this lake, and lots of fabulous pictures.
Starting to burn a bit, innit? Just wait.
This is a close zoom of Mount St. Helens’ caldera, taken from the Hummocks Trail. Just feast your eyes a bit. Lots of detail to absorb. I’ll wait.
This is really spectacularly beautiful, but nothing compared to what you’re going to see from Johnston Ridge if the weather’s clear tomorrow. And now you’re beginning to clench your fists, I’ll wager. One might even be shaking in my direction. Before you get too angry, just keep in mind that we were, at that moment, absolutely sweating to death. It was hot down in the hummocks, and there wasn’t much shade, and we’re out of shape to begin with. Waaah.
And you’re going to be like, “Oh, shut the fuck up!” after you see this final shot.
We actually decided to turn back once we hit the junction with the Boundary Trail and realized we’d have to go four times as far if we were going to complete the Hummocks Trail. We are weak, and it was hot. But we went a ways down the Boundary Trail first, and saw this view. So, left to right: you’ll see a fine dike going up the toe of Johnston Ridge. Then you’re looking across the hummocks in the North Fork Toutle River Valley to the mountain. You can see the rampart very clearly here.
Mind you, these aren’t even close to all of the coolest shots I took. They’re just teasers. I’m very mean, I know. And now I’m in a hotel room in St. Helens, Oregon, on a bed with a memory foam mattress topper, and I am definitely loving life at the moment. We’re taking Suzanne up tomorrow, and we will, weather willing, have even more awesomeness to share. It’s saying partly cloudy for tomorrow. I’m hoping it’s the kind of partly cloudy that still allows us to see the mountain. We shall see.
In the meantime, I’m going to wash sunscreen off and go to sleep on a memory foam mattress topper. And I will dream of the scenes I will share with you, my darlings. You won’t hate me forever.