Mount St. Helens

“Giving up a verse the curse occurs a thirst to burst first breaking through the center of the universe” Freak Out311

Before I tell you about this amazing thing called Mount St. Helens, I have to let you all know that I’ve been sick with some sort of cold, which is why I haven’t posted in several days. I may have picked it up from my niece or from something else, either way I’m sick and am currently on the mend. I feel better than I did a week ago but am not sure if I’m going to get better without seeing a doctor. Hopefully I will kick this and be ready for anything! So here’s to feeling better! *raises imaginary champagne glass*

Have you ever seen how small you are compared to this world? Or have you ever thought about how tiny we are compared to the earth below our feet and above our head? I have. I have thought about it before. I never really had anything to compare myself to except for the ocean. I always looked at the ocean and thought about how small I was…until this past Saturday when we visited Mount St. Helens. For the first time in 34 years, I felt/saw/experienced how small I really was.

Mom, dad, Rayann, Hayley and I all took the drive over to Mount St. Helens with eager anticipation. For me I was very exited but like everything else on this trip it was an empty canvas waiting for a paintbrush and paint. I have always heard of this place from my mom. I also knew that it had erupted in 1980 (one year before I was born). Because of the stories and knowing about it, naturally I would be curious, thus propelling eagerness into motion.

We stopped in Oakville and had lunch at a place called “Loretta Eagan’s Diner”. A little hole in the wall burger place was completely okay with us. Sometimes I prefer them to bigger nicer restaurants because they usually have that down home taste! Have you ever watched that T.V. show, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” with Guy Fieri? He definitely provides inspiration and courage for me to test out some of these not-so-popular dives! It’s funny but why not right? Just as I thought, the food was GREAT! It was like having home cooked food and we enjoyed it!

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We continued our trip and the scenery was fantastic. Nothing could have prepared me for what I was to see. When we arrived at the visitors center at Mount St Helens, there…sitting quite perfectly displayed was Mount St. Helens.

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You can tell that they purposefully cut out this, well…hole like thing for you to view the mountain! I thought it was perfect and was much obliged to the people who did so. It’s a great image. And of course we had to get the family in there πŸ™‚

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As I stated in a previous post, I used to be so worried about looking like a tourist when I was on vacation, but honestly, that’s what you are! You’re a tourist. I felt so much like one when one of the employees jumped in and made us get together for this picture. I didn’t even have to ask. After it’s all said and done, I will be so thankful that I have these images to remind me of that day πŸ™‚ So I honestly don’t mind at all. Where’s my fanny pack?

There was a show playing in the theater inside of the center that really gave you a nice detailed footage of what happened in 1980! I don’t have that footage but I’ve found a video on YouTube that tells you what actually happened that day. Check it out here: Mount St Helens Eruption

Once I watched the video I was HOOKED! The last experience that hooked me was when I went to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. It literally changed my life. After I went through and saw what I saw, some sort of passion was ignited in my heart and I took interest immediately. I kind of feel the same thing has happened here. After being here and seeing this volcanic, living, breathing thing, I am wanting to know more and more!

Here are the images they had in the visitors center. You can see the sequence of the eruption. It started at 8:32:38 (I believe), then 8:32:47 > 8:32:49 > 8:32:53 > 8:33:03 > 8:33:18.8

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HOW AMAZING! Look at that burst! It’s just crazy. Mount St. Helens had 3 small phreatic eruptions in 1893, 1902 and 1921. It had been quiet since the mid-1800’s. Apparently 123 years of no activity is a long time for us, but according to geologic time, that’s just a “nap”. At 3:37 p.m. an earthquake, measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale hit, coming directly from beneath Mount St. Helens. Then there was another earthquake and then another one which led scientist to believe that this volcano was waking up. So, these earthquakes eventually led to the first eruption of Mt. St. Helens. It ejected steam and ash along with rock fragments and ice blocks on the slopes of the volcano. Within hours of the first eruption, residents within a 15-mile radius of the volcano were advised to leave. Because of the continued activity, the Governor of Washington issued a State of Emergency. Craters had formed and eventually a “bulge” formed on the north flank of the volcano (probably due to magma rising in the volcano). They used comparisons of the pictures taken in 1979 of the mountain to see what kind of differences were happening with this bulge and found that it had grown outward and upward about 250 feet as of April 12, 1980 – and it continued to grow 5 to 7 feet per day since April 25th. During this time people were to have evacuated, but after a period of time of nothing happening, they started letting people back in to get their things or do what they needed to do. On May 18th, the volcano erupted. The “bulge” had exploded sending ash and rock rolling down the side of the mountain. Some witnesses said they saw lightning bolts shooting through the ash.

I would like to take this time out to draw some attention to a guy named, David Johnston, who was a Geological Survey Geologist who died during this eruption. His name is continuously brought up during videos and in information given to you on this volcanic mountain. He died doing his job and for some reason I just really admire that. His famous words, “Vancouver, Vancouver, this is it!” seems to ring many times through the tour of the visitors center and is pretty famous when talking about Mount St. Helens. The pictures above are his images and are displayed in the visitors center. He last radioed in at 8:32 which was when it happened. (All info stated above is from the visitors center at Mount St. Helens)

After the visitors center we drove up to Johnston’s Ridge (named after David Johnston) to see her up close and personal. We stopped at a pull off before Johnston and got a couple of great shots as well as some along the way.

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You know that this is tourist attraction when the local chipmunk comes up to you begging for food. LITERALLY, the chipmunk saw us, ran up to us (about 1 foot away), stood on the stone wall and did all but ask, “Do you have any food for me?”. LOL I swear, when he stood up on his hind legs, if he could have spoken, that’s what he would have asked. So funny and cute.

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Johnston’s Ridge is the up close and personal view.

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You can see, directly in the center where the explosion happened. It used to be a mountain at one time but now is looks a bit open. I found a before image for you to see (taken from Wikipedia).

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The visuals of the mountain are just insane. I think that’s what really blows my mind. That is what makes you feel small.  A mass of ash and rock, reaching heights of 50,000 ft. can really put you in your place. People who were 35 miles away from the mountain said they felt a temperature increase of 30 to 40 degrees higher than usual. What can do that? I can blow air out of my mouth and it may reach a foot away from me? I am an ANT in a wilderness of monumental size. God’s creation is so fantastic that to think this all happened just by chance, to me, is a foolish idea indeed.

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