Today we hooked up with the Tangen family on the Summer of Love. Kent is here going to RailsConf as well, and Marilee and kids came out to join Tammy and Mazie while he and I go to the conference. Today though, Tammy and Marilee decided to hit the town all day and Kent and I loaded the kids in the van and headed to Mount St. Helens. It was a great day.
The drive to Mount St. Helens from Portland wasn't too bad; about 50 minutes on the interstate and 30 or so on the highway. We got started somewhat late and stopped for lunch at the last place for food before heading the final 20 miles to the Volcanic Monument. Driving through the valley presents you with evidence of the massive destruction of this eruption even 28 years later. The valley that you drive through is 100 feet higher than it was before. Before it was a gorge and now it's a pancake flat valley settled between the mountains. All the result of the eruption.
The view of the volcano, and the very young trees everywhere, just exclaim the power of something as mighty as a volcano. Looking at the mountain inspires awe and respect. It takes a wild imagination to envision the cubic mile of dirt that was blown out during the eruption.
If your in the area, take the time to see it. Even the kids thought it was pretty cool. I'd love to come in the summer and hike around the area -- although access is very limited even now. I took a bunch of pictures -- good stuff.