Mount St Helens
After looking at the weather forecast we decided to head towards Mt St Helens. It was overcast, but that has been a regular occurrence of a morning since we arrived in the Seattle area. In hindsight it was not the best decision. The weather was not too bad when we arrived at the beginning of the entrance road and we stopped at the Visitor Centre where there was this amazing shrub which may be called an Oregon Grape.
As we travelled up the valley towards the mountain the clouds lowered, leading to a very atmospheric scene.
A little further on we had our first glimpse of the blast area of the mountain. The clouds were moving so fast that we could see it fully from the car, but by the time we got out and to the edge of the lookout it was partly obscured.
Travelling towards the scene of the event the impact on the environment was still evident and very striking.
Even in these stark areas the wildflowers were striking.
Reaching the Observation Area the cloud was surrounding us with no chance of seeing the mountain.
We spent an hour waiting for it to clear but without luck. It is just as well it was an excellent visitor centre and had many informative displays and a great presentation by a ranger. Part of the display was this tree which had one side splintered by the blast but still had bark on the sheltered side.
There was a small break in the cloud that allowed a view of Spirit Lake which is several hundred feet higher since the blast.
Although an open view would have been great it was an interesting day.