At the top Dad took a picture of us.
Isabel sad the sun was bright (and it was!) in her eyes.
The lake behind us (by Isabel’s elbow) to the east is Spirit Lake, which used to be a gorgeous, popular place to hang out before the eruption in 1980. The lake rose 200 ft and is 10 percent smaller and shallower then it was before May 18th 1980.
Grandma, Isabel and Grandpa. The area behind them would have been a rich forest of trees, now is lays bare with stumps and trees blasted away from their bases.
Heading back down the other side of the hilltop an arched memorial with the names of the 57 people who dead that day in May of 1980. Very nice.
Out of the ash, new life has begun to grow…
By this time we were all getting a little tired and hungry so we headed back down the mountain side to the the Forest Learning Center. Our hope was to spot some of the Elk that roam along the valley floor just below the Center. We did see a few of them but they stick to the trees and bushes that have grown in the area.
I tried to get a picture of the trees that were planted along the way. When you looked at them your eyes would go blurry from looking at them. It was odd.
After the eruption the area had problems with flooding and slides. So volunteer’s came in and planted over 800,000 trees by hand! Tree planting is still going on in the area today to help with erosion and to make the landscape more inviting to the elk that have returned to the area.
Finally a family photo… right on!
Even our “old girl” got to see Mt. St. Helen’s but this was the closest she actually got to see it because dogs are not allowed outside of the vehicle at the Observatory. Don’t think she’s to bothered by it though she’s just happy to be with her man!
Isabel and I.
Isabel doing her impersonation of a firework!
33 miles down from the Observatory we found a nice little place to eat called Patty’s Place at 19 Mile House.
The after dinner homemade berry cobbler with ice cream was yummy-good!!