Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mount Saint Helens and Mount Ranier

We went looking at active volcanoes today.  Actually, we knew that Mount Saint Helens is considered an active volcano, but we did not know the same is true for Mount Ranier.  From Wikipedia:

Mount St. Helens is most notorious for its catastrophic eruption on May 18, 1980, at 8:32 am PDT,[2] the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States. Fifty-seven people were killed; 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles (24 km) of railways, and 185 miles (298 km) of highway were destroyed. A massive debris avalanchetriggered by an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, caused an eruption, reducing the elevation of the mountain's summit from 9,677 ft (2,950 m) to 8,365 ft (2,550 m) and replacing it with a 1 mile (1.6 km) wide horseshoe-shaped crater.[3] The debris avalanche was up to 0.7 cubic miles (2.9 km3) in volume. The Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument was created to preserve the volcano and allow for its aftermath to be scientifically studied.

The scooped out area near the peak is a result of the 1980 eruption.

Mount Ranier is much more majestic, rising to a height of 14,411 feet.  It, too, is considered an active volcano. 

The drive into Mount Ranier National Park was beautiful with lots of towering trees and lush vegetation. 

Ferns were all over the roadside.

We spotted this beautiful waterfall, but I forgot its name. 

An avalanche area.
And on July 19, there was still snow at about 4,000 feet. 

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