Mount St. Helens

When Wife Lila and I traveled to Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument last summer, I complained that I couldn’t see the forest for the sneeze. I had a killer cold that made me so miserable I’d have welcomed a Second Coming of  Mt. Helens to put me out of my misery.

On top of that, we got a late start and it was a longer drive than we had anticipated. By the time we got there, it was late in the day and the cloud cover was heavy. It didn’t provide the best opportunities for shooting.

Hoffstadt Creek Bridge

A lot of money flowed into the area to restore infrastructure. This bridge over Hoffstadt was built as quickly as possible to help loggers salvage what trees could be salvaged.

View into the crater

We expected to see what we remembered from news photos of the aftermath of the eruption: trees laid over, stripped landscapes and mud flows. (One of my former staffers won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the event.)

Nature is much more resilient than anyone had expected. Many of the trees have been replanted, wildflowers and wildlife are returning. This view down into the crater shows a lot of green.

Fragile ecosystem

Many areas of the mountain are closed to the public to give scientists a unique opportunity to study the progression of life in an area that had been effectively stripped clean of anything living.

Other Seattle area stories

Photo Gallery of Mount St. Helens

I shot these photos when I was dog-sick with a cold, so it’s appropriate that I edited them when I’m (hopefully) getting over one. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.