32 years ago on May 18,1980 the eruptions of Mount St Helens changed the whole landscape in the surrounding area in an instant. When we went there to view her beauty, the destruction is still clearly visible, especially the blasted trees that remained untouched. Mount St Helens looked so majestic, serene, and represents something of true awe and beauty, yet underlying is something potentially catastrophic. I stood there and observed it with immense respect for nature itself.
Entering the blast zone on our way to Johnston Ridge Observatory replanted trees can be seen along the highway for miles which was part of the regeneration project. The tree groves are marked by the year it was planted and the year it will be harvested.
Johnston Ridge Observatory , considered the crown jewel of Mt St Helen is located at the end of Highway 504 East and is at the center of the blast zone. This is where you can really be near and be of awe when you see the volcano which is only 5.4 miles away. You can spend hours at the visitor center reading eyewitness stories, the events that happened weeks leading up to the eruption and scientific and geologic facts. Everything you would want to know about the activity before and after the eruption. It was very informative and well done. It was worth the drive up there.