Armchair photo tours: A trip to Mount St. Helens, 40 years post-eruption

Photos by Cheryl Landes

May 20, 2020 marked the fortieth anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens. I lived in Northeastern Oregon when the volcano erupted and still remember the experience like it was yesterday. The town of La Grande, where I lived, was on the southern fringe of the ash path. Our usual dry, sunny spring weather turned rainy for days after the eruption. The air was full of ash, which made everything a muddy, gritty mess.

In late July 2020, I drove the entire length of the Spirit Lake Highway (State Highway 504) to the Johnston Ridge Observatory. It was my first trip in 14 years, and the changes in the landscape are dramatic. In 2006, a lot of vegetation had returned, but this time, I saw more tall evergreens, summer flowers, and birds. Nature continues to renew itself here.

Today’s armchair photo has pictures from my trip in July 2020. See pictures from my 2006 trip and learn more about the eruption in 1980 at my first armchair photo tour of Mount St. Helens.

Mount St. Helens is still an active volcano. The dome continues to build in the crater, and smaller eruptions have occurred since 1980. Geologists believe another large eruption will happen, but they aren’t sure when.

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