Two RV Gypsies: Full-Time RVers
go to the home page of the two RV Gypsies
Table of Content index
learn about Karen and Lee Duquette email the two RV Gypsies sgin the guestbook of the Two RV Gypsies
Alaska visits by the two RV Gypsies
places in Canada the two RV Gypsies have visited
see countries and cruises The two RV Gypsies on cruises visit the USA sites
learn about Brian Duquette's tragedy places before 2008 Links to other RV site RV help for travelers vidoes by the Two RV Gypsies

The two RV Gypsies (plus one)
at Mount Saint Helens in Washington
July 27, 2013

USA state showing location of Washington statemap

history book clipartMount St. Helens is an active stratovolcano located in Skamania County, Washington, in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is 96 miles south of Seattle, Washington, and 50 miles northeast of Portland, Oregon. Mount St. Helens is 45 miles west of Mount Adams, in the western part of the Cascade Range. These "sister and brother" volcanic mountains are approximately 50 miles from Mount Rainier. Mount Hood, the nearest major volcanic peak in Oregon, is 60 miles southeast of Mount St. Helens.

Mount St. Helens takes its English name from the British diplomat Lord St Helens, a friend of explorer George Vancouver who made a survey of the area in the late 18th century. The volcano is located in the Cascade Range and is part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc, a segment of the Pacific Ring of Fire that includes over 160 active volcanoes. This volcano is well known for its ash explosions and pyroclastic flows.

Mount St. Helens is most notorious for its catastrophic eruption on May 18, 1980, at 8:32 a.m. PDT, the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States. Fifty-seven people were killed; 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles of railways, and 185 miles of highway were destroyed. A massive debris avalanche triggered by an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale caused an eruption that reduced the elevation of the mountain's summit from 9,677 feet to 8,365 feet, replacing it with a 1 mile wide horseshoe-shaped crater. The debris avalanche was up to 0.7 cubic miles in volume. The Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument was created to preserve the volcano and allow for its aftermath to be scientifically studied. Prior to the 1980 eruption, Mount St. Helens was the fifth-highest peak in Washington.

As with most other volcanoes in the Cascade Range, Mount St. Helens is a large eruptive cone consisting of lava rock interlayered with ash, pumice, and other deposits. The mountain includes layers of basalt and andesite through which several domes of dacite lava have erupted. The largest of the dacite domes formed the previous summit, and off its northern flank sat the smaller Goat Rocks dome. Both were destroyed in the 1980 eruption.

Above quote From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Below: Lee Duquette set up the camera on a little tripod and set the self-timer button to take a photo of himself with Karen and Ilse.

Lee Duquette setting up the camera
Karen Duquette and her sister Ilse at Mount St Helens sign
Ilse and the two RV Gypsies at the Mount St Helens sign

The full impact of the 1980 lateral blast and 33 years of natural recovery is seen on the drive through miles of standing-dead and blown-down forests.

Mount St Helens peeking over the ridge
panorama with Mount St Helens in the background

In less than 10 minutes from the blast, the avalanche swept 14 miles down the South Coldwater and North Toutle River Valleys.

path of the avalanche
path of the avalanche
path of the avalanche
path of the avalanche
panaroma

Evidences of destruction and recovery abound, along with amazing views of Mount St. Helens from Johnston Ridge - elevation 4,314 feet.

sign about magma moving the mountainside

Below: View of the lava dome and growing glacier from a visitor center overlooking the crater. A Monument Pass (wrist band) was required to be purchased at the visitor center, and must be worn while on Johnston Ridge.

The two RV Gypsies and Karen's sister at Johnston Ridge
View of the lava dome and growing glacier
sign explaining hummocks
hummocks along Mount st. Helens
sign about Ashu Plumes
sign about Ashu Plumes

Below: Each Stump tells the tale of the blast. Within 90 seconds, the debris-filled blast struck this forested hillside, pulverizing ancient trees. The nearly 500-mile per hour blast shattered and toppled trees, snapping some into the valley shown below. The blast stripped their bark and branches, carrying them miles away. The mangled stumps are all that remains of the 150-foot-tall trees, testimony to the blast's incredible power.

sign: Each stump tells the tale of the blast
tree stumps on Johnston Ridge

Below: A squirrel on one of the tree stumps

a squirrel on one of the tree stumps
a squirrel on one of the tree stumps
tree stumps and flowers on Johnston Ridge
squirrel
squirrel
squirrel
squirrel
sign about staying on the trails

Flowers were blooming once again on Mount Saint Helens.

flowers are blooming once again on Mount Saint Helens
flowers are blooming once again on Mount Saint Helens
flowers are blooming once again on Mount Saint Helens
flowers are blooming once again on Mount Saint Helens
Mount Saint Helens
Mount Saint Helens

Karen, Lee, and Ilse looked back up at Johnston Ridge from the trail they hiked. There are tiny people at the top of the trail in the photo below on the right.

Looking back up at Johnston Ridge from the trail
See the people at the top of the trail

>

The Johnston Ridge trail and Mount St. Helens

The trail and Mount St. Helens
The trail and Mount St. Helen
The trail and Mount St. Helen
Mount Saint Helens
Mount Saint Helens
flowers on the side of the trail

The two RV Gypsies took a break along the trail and enjoyed the view from the well-placed bench.

Lee Duquette taking a break from the hike
The two RV Gypsies take a break along the trail
Karen Duquette and her sister Ilse are wind-blown as they take a break

Below: The Crater and Lava Dome at Mount Saint Helens. Suddenly some rocks fell into the Lava Dome which caused steam to rise up into the air. (no steam in the left photo).

The crater and Lava Dome at Mount Saint Helen
Suddenly some rocks fall into the Lava Dome and steam arises.
steam at Mount Saint Helens
steam at Mount Saint Helens

Panorama views of Mount St. Helens

Panorama view of Mount St. Helens
Panorama view of Mount St. Helens
panorama
squirrel
squirrel
Mount Saint Helens

Coldwater Lake Recreation Area

Mount Saint Helens and Castle Lake
Mount Saint Helens and Castle Lake
Mount Saint Helens and Castle Lake
Mount Saint Helens and Castle Lake
Mount Saint Helens and Castle Lake
Mount Saint Helens and Castle Lake

Coldwater Lake was formed when water backed up behind a natural dam that was created by a massive landslide during the 1980 eruption.

Lee Duquette on the boardwalk at Coldwater Lake
Lee Duquette and Ilse Blahak on the boardwalk at Coldwater Lake
Lee Duquette on the boardwalk at Coldwater Lake

The water was so clear that the rocks did not look like they were under water, but they were.

clear water at Coldwater Lake
rocks and clear water at Coldwater Lake
tall grasses in Coldwater Lake
tall grasses in Coldwater Lake

Coldwater Lake had a boat launch area for electric motors only. Fishing requires a Washington state license. Access is via small electric boat or float tubes as shown below.

fishing from a float tube
fishing from a float tube
beauty at Coldwater Lake
beauty at Coldwater Lake
the two RV Gypsies at Coldwater Lake
Karen Duquette and her sister Ilse at Coldwater Lake
Coldwater Lake
Coldwater Lake
fireweed at Coldwater Lake

View from Castle Lake Viewpoint - Castle Lake was created when the debris from the avalanche dammed South Fork Castle Creek.

Mount St Helens as seen from from Castle Lake Viewpoint
Mount Saint Helens and Castle Lake
informative sign
informative sign
Mount Saint Helens and Castle Lake
Mount Saint Helens and Castle Lake
Look below for more great adventures
go back to the previous page IF you have not seen the 2009 Mt. St. Helens history and photos, go there now. There will be a link at the bottom of that page back here.
OR

go back to the previous page Return to the Oregon main menu to view Oregon adventures in the order of your choice.

OR
continue on to the next Adventure in Washington stateContinue viewing the two RV Gypsies' adventures in Oregon in 2013 in the order they occurred - Oneonta Gorge and tunnel
OR
continue on to Oregon If you have already seen all of the 32 sites in Oregon, please continue on to Idaho.