21 August 2014

Mt. St. Helens

Well, when i got up to the closest viewpoint and was taking my pics, the damn thing failed to blow its top, sending the rest of the tourists screaming toward their cars while i stood my ground calmly clicking.  Hell, there wasn’t even a minor tremor, so you can imagine my disappointment.

But other than that it was a fine day trip, and sure enough when i stopped at the headquarters information center and inquired about how i might get to the point where Robert Landsburg died, the young woman behind the counter did a quick check on her computer and handed me a map on which she’d marked the closest place i could get to where Landsburg was standing.  Not real close, actually, since getting to his place of death requires a ten mile hike on what she described as very rough trails.

Note: In September i got an email from a reader asking for the location of the spot where Landsburg died.  So i got out the map the park lady had marked.   Draw a line south from Castle Lake to Merrill Lake, crossing the South Fork of the Toutle River.  Starting at that juncture, draw a line northwest.  Landsburg died about one-half mile out on that line,   The closest access to it from a road appears to be from the Kalama Horse Camp near the end of highway 81 from Cougar, but i have not checked out hiking trails in that area.

Not being able to handle “very rough trails”, i stayed on the highway and settled for a viewpoint of the mountain that was from roughly the same angle, where i could take some pics that show the mountain from pretty much his perspective even though the mountain has changed dramatically, it having been perfectly conical when he started photographing it.  Here’s what it looks like now without the old top.

Mt. St. Helens


And zooming in.  The good news is that magma is now pushing up in the caldera, and at the current rate of rise, the mountain will again be conical in million years or so.  Well, unless Something Happens before then.


Mt. St. Helens


And yes, i remembered to toss out my little old film container with a memorial note inside.


Memorial note commemorating Robert Landsburg

To conclude today’s brief post on Mt. St. Helens, here’s a morbidly obese ground squirrel who’s figured out that if he sits around looking cute, folks will ignore all those signs saying it’s bad for his health to feed him.


Morbidly obese ground squirrel

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