Mount Saint Helens erupted on May 18, 1980. Over the 37 plus years since, an incredible regeneration story is being told – one that surprised a number of wildlife professionals. Yet, the signs of devastation are still remarkable in their scale.
Yesterday, my friend Ed Cardali and I spent the day exploring the blast zone. Spirit Lake, now twice the size of the original, hosts a floating mat of trees that were destroyed in the blast. Nearby ridges are dotted with “dead soldiers”, trees that died in the blast but have yet refused to topple. And the shoulders of the mountain, where remnants of the cubic mile of snow and rock that blew off the mountain have been folded into the ash, rock and sediment below. It’s an incredible feeling to walk among the formations and feel the power of the mountain first hand.