Seattle to Lake Havasu City, AZ Day Two
Instead of listening to my wise old man, who had studied the map for days before our departure, I took the first exit that said, "Mt. Saint Helens Hwy 12". Not 503. So, instead of going to the visitors' center, we wound around to the North side of the volcano. I lived with the guilt.
It was awesome.
We were within a mile or two of the volcano, and above Spirit Lake. Incredible! The landscape still bore deep scars from the eruption of 1980. I lived in Seattle at the time, and vividly remember the event. Thirty years later, we burst through the woods into a lunar landscape of gray tree trunks, knocked down in rows from the 300 mile per hour superheated blast. Because the heat was so intense, it consumed the topsoil as well. The re vegetation is glacial.
When the mountain erupted, it splashed out Spirit Lake like a kid stomping a puddle. The mud, water, and trees flowed downhill at 30-60 miles per hour. The damage was horrific. Spirit Lake eventually returned, but was covered with logs from the destruction. Today, the lake has grey matchsticks along the West and North shores.
The mountain sits serenely today, covered in snow, the mile square missing section a testament to the incredible force of the eruption.
Dad agreed that the route we took was awesome, and certainly better than his first option.
Not a chance. I'll live with the guilt.