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* Wintery Volcano Adventures at Mount St Helens, Washington State

Published by Barry in On Location · 17/1/2015 06:57:08
Tags: washingtonmount_st_helensvolcanolandscapetrip

After working too many days in row in Oregon without a day off in December, coupled with a colleague from Taiwan being in town with work, I made the most of finishing just after noon to jump into the car and point the Mustangs' nose Northwards into Washington State.

Just over an hour up the road it was time to head off of the I-5 and traverse the country roads from the interstate to Johnson Ridge Observatory, at least that was the plan, without any idea if the road to the observatory was still open or not.

Prior to this trip I've visited Mount St Helens volcano on 7 other occasions over the last 5 years, with four of those visits being in the summer months, twice landed in autumn/fall and the very first visit I ever made which remains being in late spring.

I had no idea at which point we would reach a gate across the road preventing further advance towards Johnson Ridge, whether that would be Elk Rock, Castle Lake viewpoint etc, but somehow the winter months had only managed to drop a sprinkling of snow on the elevations of Johnson ridge meaning we could make it all the way to the end of the road.

There may have been a distinct lack of snow on the roads and it's surrounding land, but the temperature this particular day was below freezing at the best of times and with the heavy duty winds on show it was scoring well into the minus teen on the celcius scale.

It was interesting to see that there's been an additional viewpoint created to the East of the main visitor centre at Johnson Ridge, giving somewhat of a different angle to shoot the remnants of the eruption that took place back in 1980.

After braving the freezing temperatures and near galeforce winds for as long as we could to grab some touristy style photos posing with the volcano in the background (i.e. reaching blue on the "what colour are my fingers" scale), it was back into the Mustang and point it back in the direction of the I-5 and then South to Oregon once again where basecamp was set up.

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