On May 18th, 1980, one of the most geologically and financially destructive events in modern American history took place in a quiet corner of Washington State – Mount Saint Helens blew its top. In the eruption’s wake and subsequent landslide, 57 people lost their lives; 250 homes, countless bridges and hundreds of miles of rail and roadways were destroyed.

Mount St. Helens Eruption — 1980Having moved to Seattle in 2013, I was still new to exploring all that the Pacific Northwest had to offer. Visiting Mount Saint Helens was definitely high up on the list of places to check out and when work called for a trip down to Government Camp, Oregon*, I decided to make a detour on the return trip to Seattle. Here are the resulting photos…

Packing for a ski trip. © Dan Brown / Kapitol Photography
Cozy accomodations with plenty of skis to test on Mt. Hood’s glacier.
Mount Hood, Oregon © Dan Brown / Kapitol Photography
Headed to the top of one of many volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest – Mount Hood.
Mount Hood, Oregon © Dan Brown / Kapitol Photography
Mount Hood, Oregon.

Logging within Oregon © Dan Brown / Kapitol Photography

Co-pilot for the day, Charlie Cultrara © Dan Brown / Kapitol Photography
Charlie, the co-pilot for the day.
Beware the trains © Dan Brown / Kapitol Photography
“Stay away from the tracks and stay alive!”
Somewhere in Gifford Pinchot National Forest © Dan Brown / Kapitol Photography
One of the roads within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
Mount Saint Helens, somewhere in Gifford Pinchot National Forest © Dan Brown
Mount Saint Helens from across the valley on NFD25.
A panorama along the way to Mount Saint Helens © Dan Brown
A panorama from NFD 25, looking down into the Clearwater Creek area of Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
A panorama along the way to Mount Saint Helens © Dan Brown
Snags amongst new(er) growth en route to the Windy Ridge Viewing Area of Mount Saint Helens.

A panorama along the way to Mount Saint Helens © Dan Brown

Dead trees on the way to Mount Saint Helens © Dan Brown
“A snag refers to a standing, dead or dying tree, often missing a top or most of the smaller branches.” – Wikipedia
A panorama along the way to Mount Saint Helens © Dan Brown
The landscape is still scoured by the 1980 eruption and resulting pyroclastic flow.
Camp Tacoma, a 2005 Toyota Tacoma in the shadow of Mount Saint Helens © Dan Brown
#CampTacoma in the shadow of Mount Saint Helens.
Climbing for a better view.

A panorama along the way to Mount Saint Helens © Dan Brown

Headed home via NF Fire Road 99