Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mount St Helens

We started out at the RV seminar in Kelowna. That lasted for 3 days. There were classes on technical and fun topics. We learned a lot and met a lot of wonderful people. I particularly enjoyed the classes on genealogy and blogging. We had entertainment that was high quality and the instruction was from very experienced people.

From there we went to Hope and then into the US, stopping at Bellingham. Camping World, a large RV store, is near there so we just had to make a trip. We also took a drive along the ocean on a road called the Chuckanut. From there we have come south to Castle Rock which is near the Washington/Oregon border.

Today we were at Mount St Helens. We went part way up yesterday but turned back because low clouds were obscuring the view. Today was gloriously clear and we had wonderful views.

As you may remember, Mount St Helens erupted in 1980, making this the 30th anniversary of the event. We first visited in the early 80s and the sight of a forest that had been knocked down and incinerated was quite something. Now in many places nature - or Weyerhauser - have replaced a lot of the greenery. (Weyerhauser lost something like $68 million of potential timber.) At the top, some of the destroyed areas are still evident. The roads now go up to points that give you a better view of the crater than was the case years ago. You can even see that steam continues to come from one area. Dalton caught this with his telephoto lens. (I want one!) Two domes have developed since the eruption and the word's youngest glacier is on Mount St Helens slopes.

The animals also have come back to the mountain. We saw elk WAY down in the valley (at least a mile) using Dalton's telephoto lens and the help of a park volunteer. Apparently a lot of the little animals survived because they were hibernating when the blast occurred. Since it was May 18, that surprised me. Can you imagine their surprise when they came to the surface? ("Mabel, they rearranged the world while we were asleep!") The larger animals are just coming back as vegetation grows to feed them.

It is amazing to think that the top and side of a mountain were blown out by this eruption. The earth definitely continues to change.

Our RV park is situated between the Interstate 5 and a railway track. We don't hear the traffic noise but the trains are frequent and they always blow their whistle in case we missed the ungodly noise of their passing. Putting RV parks near a train track is quite common for some reason.

We have one more day here. We are going to take a day trip out to the ocean along the Columbia River. We'll let you know how that goes.

I am still figuring out how to include pictures so please excuse the positioning. I will get this figured out!

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