The Mind-Boggling Scale of Mount St. Helens’ Crater

On this day in 1980, an earthquake beneath Mount St. Helens got everyone’s attention. Within two months, much of her summit would be lying on the North Fork Toutle River valley floor, the lush forests stripped away, and our views of her changed forever.

Image shows Mount St. Helens, rays of sunshine striking it from low in the west and a thick white cloud over its summit. I'm standing on a grassy ridge to the right, almost invisible due to shadows and my black trench coat. I look very small in comparison to the enormous mountain many miles away.
C’mon, sweetie! Just a little eruption for your Aunty Dana. Please?! Image courtesy Suzanne B., used with permission.

My dear friend Suzanne took the above photograph during one of our visits. Perspective makes the grass look almost as tall as me -but it’s waist-high at best, possibly shorter. I was completely entranced by the mountain, so I didn’t notice the exact height. But I’d probably remember slogging through something trying to poke me in the eyeballs. And, of course, the volcano towers over us all, even though it’s off in the distance up and across the broad valley.

It’s not just perspective that makes Mount St. Helens look so huge. It is so huge! To give you an idea of how huge, even with nearly two thousand feet of its summit missing, check this out: Continue reading “The Mind-Boggling Scale of Mount St. Helens’ Crater”

The Mind-Boggling Scale of Mount St. Helens’ Crater