Exploring a research area below an active volcano sounds like something you would only get to watch on TV.
However, we were about to experience it in real life! I could feel the excitement and anticipation from the group as we set out on our adventure into the Hummocks trail research area.
Hiking down the rugged, tree lined trail, it wasn’t long until Mt. St. Helens came into view! The beautiful cloudless day permitted us a glimpse into the mysterious crater. I was surprised to see patches of snow on the mountain defying the August heat.
The grey, pebble strewn trail cut a path through an astounding tapestry of life. Kicking up ash as we curved through the hilly landscape, the group stopped to study the signs, along the way.
One of the signs revealed some astonishing information! The hills (hummocks) we were hiking on – and the others scattered around us like beached whales were actually from the top and very heart of the volcano!
During the landslide on May 18, 1980, these hummocks – “huge chunks of the mountain, some spinning intact, others shattered, roared down the valley.”
So – that meant we were actually hiking on top of Mt. St. Helens! Wow!
Adventure to be continued…