Hoffstadt Creek Bridge – Second Highest Bridge in Washington State

Toutle, Washington.

The best access to the blast area defined by the eruption of Mount Saint Helens is via State Route 504, also known as the Spirit Lake Highway. Built to replace the original highway destroyed by the eruption, this 52-mile (84 km) highway contains 14 bridges that span the valleys west of the mountain. The tallest bridge on the highway spans a deep valley where some 370 feet (113 m) below, Hoffstadt Creek winds its way west toward the Toutle River. Continue reading

Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument

Mount Saint Helens National Monument, Washington.

May 18, 2020, marked the 40th anniversary of the eruption of Mount Saint Helens. It would seem that there was plenty of warning that something big was going to happen on that Spring day in 1980. After all, there were a couple of months of earthquakes and small eruptions. According to the USGS, however, advances in technology in the last 40 years might have allowed for reduced risk and earlier notification. But those advances were the result of the catastrophic eruption that “fed a towering plume of ash for more than nine hours, and winds carried the ash hundreds of miles away. Lahars (volcanic mudflows) carried large boulders and logs, which destroyed forests, bridges, roads and buildings.” Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 17 January 2021

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington.

Coldwater Lake is located in the shadow of Mount Saint Helens and owes its existence to the cataclysmic eruption of the volcano on May 18, 1980. The valley, known as Coldwater Valley due to the creek of the same name that meanders there, was blocked and the creek dammed by material thrown from the volcano during the eruption. Continue reading