This entry will be short and sweet as my experience at this park was just that. I had spent the last three weeks in Washington and needed to get back on the road to Los Angeles to make the rare stop at home. I kept seeing signs for St Helens and when I looked it up, saw that it would only be a short detour. It was already getting late and the weather was quite cloudy, so I wouldn’t make it for a hike, but I was sure that the drive would be nice so I took off.
When I thought that the drive would be worth it, I couldn’t have realized how right I was. The clouds hung over the world like god had created a blanket fort to block out the sky. The air was crisp and chilly, as Fall was quickly starting to lose its grip to winter. In the distance, a gigantic mountain with a crater in the middle left from a (geologically speaking) eruption. The ambience couldn’t have been more perfect as I drove higher and higher.
The volcano erupted as recently as 1980 being proceeded by earthquake after earthquake. Upon eruption, an eruption column shot 80,000 ft into the atmosphere sending ash into ELEVEN different states, reaching as far as Denver CO. 57 people died immediately although, there is still some dispute over the correct number.
As I sat looking at the peak in the distance, I could only imagine what that day would have been like. I did know that I would need to return though, better planned and ready to hike. Until then, I look forward to that day.
Closest Supercharger: Vancouver WA (Southern Entrance) 47 mi
800 NE Tenney Rd, Vancouver, WA 98685
Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument
3029 Spirit Lake Hwy, Castle Rock, WA 98611