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Aug 04 2012

You Are All Going to Hate Me Sooo Much

So, I’ve just had a rather lovely day at Mount St. Helens.

Mount St. Helens from Elk Rock Viewpoint.

If you don’t click for the larger version, you’ll hate yourself more than you hate me right now, which is a lot. This is the view of Mount St. Helens from Elk Rock Viewpoint. In the center left, you’ll see Mount Adams peeking over a ridge. In the center, all that knobby topography down by the river is the debris avalanche. Look up from it, and you’ll see the rampart formed by several pyroclastic flows coming down from the amphitheatre created in the May 18, 1980 eruption. And, of course, center right is the Lady herownself. The river valley you’re looking in to is the North Fork Toutle River, which hasn’t got much water in it at the moment.

Hate me yet? Kinda sorta not really? Here.

Mount St. Helens from Coldwater Lake.

So here’s a little lake created in the May 18th blast. Totally damned up by landslide debris. And it’s a perfect delight on a blazing hot summer’s day – nice, cool breeze, shade and views. From bottom to top: Coldwater Lake, delta, ridge, Mount St. Helens. We will have a lot to talk about when it comes time to write up this lake, and lots of fabulous pictures.

Starting to burn a bit, innit? Just wait.

Mount St. Helens caldera from Hummocks Trail

This is a close zoom of Mount St. Helens’ caldera, taken from the Hummocks Trail. Just feast your eyes a bit. Lots of detail to absorb. I’ll wait.

This is really spectacularly beautiful, but nothing compared to what you’re going to see from Johnston Ridge if the weather’s clear tomorrow. And now you’re beginning to clench your fists, I’ll wager. One might even be shaking in my direction. Before you get too angry, just keep in mind that we were, at that moment, absolutely sweating to death. It was hot down in the hummocks, and there wasn’t much shade, and we’re out of shape to begin with. Waaah.

And you’re going to be like, “Oh, shut the fuck up!” after you see this final shot.

Mount St. Helens from Boundary Trail

We actually decided to turn back once we hit the junction with the Boundary Trail and realized we’d have to go four times as far if we were going to complete the Hummocks Trail. We are weak, and it was hot. But we went a ways down the Boundary Trail first, and saw this view. So, left to right: you’ll see a fine dike going up the toe of Johnston Ridge. Then you’re looking across the hummocks in the North Fork Toutle River Valley to the mountain. You can see the rampart very clearly here.

Mind you, these aren’t even close to all of the coolest shots I took. They’re just teasers. I’m very mean, I know. And now I’m in a hotel room in St. Helens, Oregon, on a bed with a memory foam mattress topper, and I am definitely loving life at the moment. We’re taking Suzanne up tomorrow, and we will, weather willing, have even more awesomeness to share. It’s saying partly cloudy for tomorrow. I’m hoping it’s the kind of partly cloudy that still allows us to see the mountain. We shall see.

In the meantime, I’m going to wash sunscreen off and go to sleep on a memory foam mattress topper. And I will dream of the scenes I will share with you, my darlings. You won’t hate me forever.

13 comments

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  1. 1
    Garry Hayes

    Yeah, I hate you, but only for a day or so. I’m in Seattle and will head home via St Helens, but probably just in time for overcast skies like on the way up! I have been missing it too many times lately. But you took some very nice pictures!

  2. 2
    Suzanne

    woohoo! can’t wait! tis gonna be so much fun learning about her from you tomorrow

  3. 3
    Aviatrix

    No, no – not hate. Envy, yes, especially being stuck in flatland (Florida). Thanks for sharing your adventure so we flatladers can live vicariously in 3D…

  4. 4
    Justin Griffith

    ACK! I hate you now.

  5. 5
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    I don’t hate you at all.

    I do think you are very lucky and are having some great fun – and I hope that continues!

    Mt St Helens. Wow. Its somewhere I’ve used in projects bothat school and university, years ago. Yeah, this Aussie would love to visit that one day. Meanwhile I’ll just enjoy your photos and descriptions and experience it vicariously. Cheers! :-)

  6. 6
    Justin Griffith

    Oops, didn’t mean to embed / run over the page.

    ACK. I hate you like this, now.

  7. 7
    Rick Craig

    You’re right, I hate you. ;-)

    I lived in Wahington state and panhandle Idaho for many years, where I polished my skills as a huge geology buff, and made the “pilgrimage” to St Helens 4 times, at different times of the year. But each time the bloody weather had the mountain so totally socked in with clouds, it was invisible. (Well okay, once it was barely visible as a completely featureless, hulking shape looming just within visual perception in the fog.)

  8. 8
    FredBloggs

    Watch it doesn’t blow (again!)

    I love volcanoes. They are so cool. Unless you happen to be in the middle of a pyroclastic flow of course. Then things get a bit nasty.

  9. 9
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    i hate u nao? OK! (make max effort. not seem to be working.)

    Awesome to hear that Suzanne can be getting about enough to visit The Mountain. Sweet!

  10. 10
    Lithified Detritus

    Not hate so much as serious envy. I got to visit MSH a decade ago, but unfortunately didn’t have the opportunity to do any hiking/exploring. Would love to get back & spend more time there.

    For now I’ll have to enjoy it second-hand. I’ve really been enjoying the Rosetta Stones articles, and your comments/pictures here.

    I’ll say it again – I’d love to see a book come out of all of the work you have done on this.

  11. 11
    RW Ahrens

    Lovely! Brings back my own visit not too long ago. Waiting for more photos…I couldn’t do the hiking you can, too old and out of shape.

    Thanks for the memories!

  12. 12
    SherryH

    Nope, no hatin’ here. I love that you’re willing to share your adventures with us like this!

  13. 13
    Glenn Grace

    Hate is not required! I was a member of Tocama Mt. rescue in the 70′s and have been to the Mt. many times.
    I rode a motorcycle to the red zone one week before the eruption! Silly me! I am happy the Mt. has settled down for the moment. I remember helping bringing down injured climbers and many climbs to the Sumit. And the day it blew we saw it from my yard in Olympia a friend of mine helped me with the math and my compass reading of the elevation and a road map for the distance, we figured the smoke plume to be 40,000 feet! The figure was so big we figured we were wrong. Later we found that it was 44,000 feet! Lots of memories about that Mt. Like the 2,000 or 3,000 foot glasides from the ” Dogs Hesd” and now it’s gone!

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