The pic to the right, shows Mount Saint Helens' blown out face from the May, 1980
eruption. This pic was taken outside Ms. Tioga at a lovely sunset. Do we seem
close to this active volcano? Well, we are!! And, there is smoke belching from
the crater, as well. We can only imagine what this exact spot where we are now
was like at the moment of the volcanic blast at 8:32 Sunday morning, May 18, 1980.
Mount Saint Helens from our July, 2003 campsite.
Pre-Eruption View of Mt. Saint Helens
A pre-eruption view of Mt. Saint Helens from Spirit Lake shows the smooth, conical
slopes of a very young and potentially explosive volcano.
[J.Hughes, USDA Forest Service]
The pic at the right with George and Mount Saint Helens is the closest that we got
to the big volcano, which at this point is 8 miles away. The sloping crater which is a
mile wide, is the section that blew off in the eruption of 1980!
This is the closest that we came to the mighty Saint Helens volcano!
Boondocking in Mount Saint Helens National Monument
We made three Nite Camps inside the Monument area and had absolutely no problem
being bothered by anybody. As I recall, the area is not very heavily traveled. One really
great camp was at Maratta Creek. Check out our archives for July 29 to July 31, 2003.
When we were at Maratta Creek, we saw our very first beaver! Wow!
I received an email from friends Cathy and Jack with this fascinating story and photo
about Mt. Saint Helens' during early 2005.
Mt. St. Helens, which sits about 30 miles from our house as the crow
flies, continues to spew ash, while it is forming a lava dome in the
crater and still having minor tremors. Here, in this sunrise shot,
she appears to be blowing smoke rings (and anything so benign is
welcomed, given recent history.)
What forms the "smoke rings" is the air flowing over the mountain
getting pushed up higher as it goes up and over the top. The
moisture content and initial temperature are just right so that the
moisture condenses from a vapor to small particles at the higher
altitude. When the moving air moves past the peak and comes down
again, the particles evaporate back to an invisible vapor. The two
"pancakes" describe that there are two layers of air for which this
is happening, thus making this awesome picture possible.