Few days ago we had some fantastic weather here in the North West so my dad and i decided to go down to see Mount St Helens. This is our mission for a while with Lea and i moving back to Montana.
We had already tried once to get down to the volcano once before but a low ceiling about thirty miles out prevented us from getting there.
From Jeff Co (air port) the flight takes about three hours round trip. The ride down is spectacular. Flying along the hood canal then over the rolling foot hills of the cascades. The mountain itself was semi obscured by clouds sitting at around 9,000 ft. You could see the base of it, Toutle river, debris flow, and the road leading to the observation point.
In order to get a better view of the crater we climbed up through a blue hole above the clouds. As we got closer to the mountain it was clear that all references of scale were way off. The mountain is massive, and the chunk missing is awe inspiring. All i could think about was how big the ash cloud must have been. Even from our vantage point at 10,000 ft the ash cloud in 1981 would have continued above us for another 50,000 ft and then some.
We flew a complete circle around the crater.
If you look closely at the photo below just above the wing tip you can see little lines, these are trees downed in 1980. Like i said the scale is unbelievable.
Putting the peak behind us we headed for home. I was quiet most of the way back, happy fro another chance to go flying with my dad. Sad that it is going to be a while before i get the chance to go again. Its always an adventure.