June 08, 2008 GMT
16. Mount St. Helen's

Out of the rain and fog appears Mount St. Helen's

After the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, etc., I thought this would just be another big rock
but this mountain tops the lot.
I picked up a bug (cough, cold, flu) in San Francisco, it started to make itself felt
at Lake Tahoe and kept getting worse plus the weather after Redding decided to
join in and really make me feel miserable.

Overcast, rain, cold (around 10c) so all my rides finished up with a frozen lump
trying to get off the bike without tripping and falling over myself (this is a very tall

Redding to Springfield (Eugene) - Long, Cold and Wet
I was initially going to ride through the mountains instead of taking the Interstate
good thing I did not, it was even colder up there and snowing.

Mount Shasta, that cloud looked like a flying saucer when viewed from the back
1Mount Shasta.jpg

Springfield to Kelso (Longview) - Short, Cold and Wet

Ride from Kelso to Mount St. Helen's and back
started off in fog and finished up in sunshine

In 3D

On the way up to MSH (Mount St. Helen's)

I rode straight into those clouds you see covering the tops
of the mountains in the distance.
It was freezing and I could not see a thing, nearly turned back
but decided to keep going, it was only 120k's each way
and see what happened


Good decision, because the sun came out, first time in 3 days
First glimpse of MSH


Finally at the top and a minor challenge for disabled drivers.
The car park was half covered in snow



Spot the orange motorcycle

The visitors centre, really good 16 minute introductory movie.
Actual footage of the mountain blowing up in 1980

The mountain itself

28 years later and its still a desert at the base

The old man and the mountain



That Lava Dome is growing, it periodically spews out Hot Stuff



The devastation wrought by the blast is still apparent 28 years later

Millions of tree's ripped away from their trunks

New lakes were formed when bits of the mountain top blocked rivers

That was a big tree

Trees only just starting to appear at a distance

The ridge in the background that is covered in trees is behind MSH
and was not affected by the blast, that's what the whole area looked like before,
the bit in the front is after

Must come back one day (check the weather first)

Posted by Chris Desmond at June 08, 2008 09:35 PM GMT

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