I have lived here in the NW all my life. When Mt. St. Helen erupted on May 18 1980 I was living in Portland. I remember the inches of volcanic ash covering the area and all the people wearing filter masks. I have always been intrigued by the mountain but until last weekend I had never been up to it. This last weekend I finally made it there and it was awesome. My partner and I visited the Johnston Ridge Observatory and the Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center along with many stops to take photographs and view the scenery. It is amazing how after 26 years much of the area still shows such great signs of destruction and yet other areas are showing remarkable recovery.
Coldwater Lake is a beautiful example of how nature is healing it’s self. The lake looks like it has been there for many years. It is teaming with life but it did not exist before the eruption. The forest service and the wood product industry has also done a great job in planting new trees. Many areas will be ready to harvest in the not to distant future.
Mount St. Helen is a great area and I would highly recommend that if you ever get a chance to visit the area. I know I will be going back very soon. I plan on riding my motorcycle up there again this summer. The road to Johnson Ridge is perfect for a motorcycle ride.