Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

June 16, 2011

Forest Learning Center at Mount St. Helens

In an ideal world, I would have driven to the Johnston Ridge Observatory at the end of the road, which has the sweeping view of the volcano.  It's a long drive, with a lot of switchbacks and I didn't feel like doing that to my car, not with a 3,000 mile road trip coming up.  I only went as far as the Forest Learning Center which was really cool.  Great exhibits, films, hands-on stuff.  I was a bad girl in this gift shop as well, but hey, it's my swansong in the PNW.  I want stuff to remember it by.

This is as close as I got to Fire Mountain.

Imagine this valley choked with a massive and muddy lahar, lava rocks and blown down trees, all rushing down the Toutle River, 60 miles to I-5.  The ash blew east/northeast and turned the skies in Yakima black.


  1. Anonymous2:41 PM

    Beautiful pictures! Mount St Helens I once saw from afar. I would have loved to go there, but the courier on that trip seemed to be obsessed with shopping so instead of going to the great outdoors, we were taken to a shopping outlet somewhere :0(

  2. Stunning, from the big views to the little flowers.

  3. This is such a beautiful area, and great photos! You have inspired me to take a trip sometime this summer. Its been a long time since I have made the fairly short trip to get up to St Helens. We lived in the same town I live in now when the Mt erupted, (about 60 miles south) and my mom tells me we had an inch of ash on the windowsill of the living room window. Crazy..