When we made plans to visit Washington, my friend sent me a text of ideas of things we could do and see while we were there. As I read through the list, one activity jumped out at me: Mount St. Helens – the volcano. It erupted just before I was born and yet I heard stories of it growing up – ash fell all the way in Idaho where we lived. It was a big deal and I wanted to see it almost 40 years after it’s eruption.
When I read the list to the kids, surprisingly everyone’s top choice was the volcano. Except Cannon – he thought we were messing with him because “volcanos are just pretend and only in movies.” He was going to have his mind blown!
It was a littler further of a drive than we anticipated – although we could’ve stopped at a “viewing site” much earlier in the drive – we were determined to see it up close and it was worth it.
We watched a movie about the eruption in the visitor’s center. I was prepared to wrangle a two-year-old through it and eventually walk out. To my surprise he was captivated by the poorly produced 1990 film – and he repeated over and over again, “Volcano broken, it’s broken”. He wins the award for the most excited because that excitement is still strong. Every mountain is now a volcano and he repeats in his yelling talking voice, “Cano, Cano Cano.” This visitor’s center proved to be interesting to every age group!
Here’s a before picture (from here) and how it stands now.
This valley has been desolate for years and years due to the ash and eruption – and yet new life has sprung forth and beauty is being restored. The landscape is forever changed, but it still has its beauty – just far less trees.
We were there for hours. And even then we were pulling the kids away. They could’ve stayed there all day! They already have it on our to-do list if we ever make it back to Washington.