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Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Family Road Trip: Day 1

Since we've seen and done everything in Idaho, we had to pack up the Wagonqueen Family Truckster and head west to find new adventures on our week-long family road trip.

On the first day we found ourselves in western Washington, staring up at the smoldering crater of the Mt. St. Helens volcano. The kids were initially disappointed not to find rivers of lava everywhere, but they soon discovered that the 1980 eruption left behind a wasteland of devastation that was just as amazing.

Even 26 years later, there are places that look like the surface of the moon. And then, just around a corner, there are lush forests and ponds teeming with new life.

Here are a few images from the first day of our trip... Click the pictures for a larger view

On Johnston Ridge, six miles from the volcano, overlooking the massive landslide that buried Spirit Lake and the Toutle River. Nothing much grows out there. Very humbling.

Near Johnston Ridge, a shattered tree bears witness to the power of the eruption. My kids hike a narrow trail with Mt. St. Helens looming in the background.

Beauty in the blast zone.

My family on a trail near Johnston Ridge. Broken and battered trees are everywhere, but most of them are buried under mountains of debris.

The Hummock Trail is a 2.5-mile loop through the debris field in the North Fork Toutle River Valley. The resulting erosion has created an eerie place of conical mounds and wetlands. The up and down trail was tough for the kids toward the end, but it was well worth the effort. In no other place around the volcano will you see all the different ecosystems that are returning to the area.

Along the Hummock Trail, a new pond where life is returning with a vengeance.

Next post... Day 2: The Ocean!


Blogger Hliza said...

Nice photos.And what an adventure! I've never witness a place with traces of volcano before. Looking forward for more of yr posts!

10:19 AM  
Anonymous lbh said...

ahhh ha Mt St Helens. Very nice...but
'Day 2: The Ocean'...ohhh! Did you go to the Oregon Coast? We love it; lived there for years and just went back to visit this spring and summer! Awesome!

10:34 AM  
Blogger anne said...

Fab pix but do you know the most scary thing about your post from St Helens - that it happened 26 years ago! Seems like only a decade ago. Boy am I getting old. I'm now at that stage where I forget how old I am and have to work it out from my date of birth - just how sad is that.

2:17 PM  
Blogger landismom said...

Wow, amazing pics. And yes, I too am old!

4:22 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Loved the pictures...especially that shot with the foxglove..can you please recommend to me a camera that my kids can't break?

6:06 PM  
Anonymous the weirdgirl said...

I remeber going through that part of Washington on a train right after Mt. St. Helens blew. I was just a kid but it was still positively eerie. Probably in my top ten of sights I'll never forget.

10:23 AM  

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