Early morning found me at the Coldwater Peak Trailhead located at the Johnston Ridge Observatory only 5 1/2 miles north of the Mt. St. Helens Crater.
From the Trailhead I could see my destination, Coldwater Peak. Also visible was the early morning sun shining through a natural arch that the Trail passes through on the way to the Peak.
In 1980 the ever-increasing bulge on the north side of Mt. St. Helens burst. The effects of the blast are still very evident on the Coldwater Peak Trail.
It was a sunny, clear day providing views of the growing lava dome inside the old crater, the pumice plain and landslide deposits. The forest that once covered the area is long gone with ghostly white and grey remnants of the old trees evident in every direction.
The Trail provides many views of Mt. St. Helens, Spirit Lake (where Harry Truman refused to leave his Lodge and died in the blast), St. Helens Lake (home of many logs from trees destroyed by the pyroclastic flows from the 1980 eruption) and Mt. Rainier.
In many ways the scenery is reminisant of a Moon landscape. A few trees are growing, but the land is many centuries away from returning to its previous green splendor. It is a truly unique and amazing environment to meander through.
Another day to remember!