Sunday, August 8, 2021

Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

Mount St. Helen's is an active volcano in Castle Rock, WA that last erupted in 1981.  Our daughter-in-law, Zia, is from Eatonville, WA.  She was told that as a very young child she and her baby sister sat at Mount St. Helen's, and as babies will do, managed to eat some volcanic ash. 

Today we were able to see some of the volcanic ash blowing around and a glimpse  of a little steam that was escaping the Crater.


Oregon Grape



Lots of logs that were broken off in 1981 are still laying there.

Ground Squirrel that unfortunately was fed by someone (not us).

The Crater formed by the 1981 eruption.

At the top of the trail at the visitor's center.  The dial pointed to various mountains and landscape features.

The ranger checked over their books carefully.

Proud of the two newly sworn in Mount St. Helen's Junior Rangers

A lesson on the weight of volcanic and other rocks from the park.

Cyrus enjoyed Battleship.

Zia and the kids walked the lower section of Ape Cave, a 2 1/2 mile lava tube formed by a volcanic eruption nearly 2,000 years ago.  Pat and I went into the entrance but that was as far as we got.  First I'm not fond of caves, second it was really dark and we didn't have good flashlights, and third we would have had to climb over some rocks right to begin with which would have been difficult and not a good choice with my broken arm.

Ape Cave does not have a known hibernating bat population but they still ask you to use their shoe cleaners prior to entry to prevent white-nose syndrome from entering the cave.
A collapsed lava tunnel at the Trail of Two Forests.  A lava river 2,000 years ago left a forest cast in stone and a new forest that has formed since.

Lava flowed around the trees, the trees died, and left the lava holes.

Cyrus heading down a lava tube.

Zia and Samira exiting the lava tube several yards away. 

The Cowlitz River Project.  We ate our lunch after we left Mt. St. Helen's at this hydroelectric dam.  Even got to see a bald eagle.

Where are the Piepers now?  Bothel, WA

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