Apologies for the abrupt absence, my dear geology fans! If you want all the boring details on why I suddenly dropped off the face of the earth, an explanation 'tis here. Long story short: brain fall down go boom, medicines meant to get brain back up and running got it down and sleeping instead. Wheee!

But we did manage to rouse it long enough for a day trip to Mount St. Helens a few weeks ago. I've finally got all the pictures edited, and I'll be slipping some of the best to you as we discuss various aspects of the volcano. We got a gorgeous day: sunny, with crystal-clear air. Alas, it was a little too sunny and gorgeous for the Hummocks Trail - we're going to hit that one this fall, on an overcast day, and this time we'll hopefully make it to the river. Ya'll are gonna love the story that walk tells!

For now, let's have some yellow irises and a snow-covered volcano:

Image shows Mount St. Helens in the distance. In the foreground, there are lots of yellow irises, and between them, Silver Lake.

Mount St. Helens from Silver Lake.

Remember Silver Lake? Pretty soon, I think we shall talk more about the geology of Silver Lake. That will give us an excellent excuse to pore over lovely photos from it, and learn a thing or three about how volcanoes do some pretty serious landscaping, even when they're many miles away.

We dropped by the buried A-Frame, of course, and I got to hang with my buddy Sasquatch.

Image shows the gigantic concrete Sasquatch at the Buried A-Frame; I'm hugging its knee.

Hangin' with Sasquatch

The views from Johnston Ridge were magnificent, and I got some rather artsy shots in.

Image has one of the downed trees in the foreground left, with a view across the North Fork Toutle River valley to the volcano.

Mount St. Helens from Johnston Ridge.

And it was just a week shy of Coldwater Lake's 34th birthday. Pretty amazing that we know that lake was born on the morning of May 18th, 1980, innit?

Coldwater Lake, with Mount St. Helens in the background.

Coldwater Lake, with Mount St. Helens in the background.

And we drank in a last sight of the mountain from the Castle Lake viewpoint.


Image shows a view across the North Fork Toutle River valley. In the foreground, there is ponded water and lots of very young, green trees. Mount St. Helens is to the right in the background, and you can see the hummocky terrain in the river valley below. Johnston and Coldwater Ridges are visible from right to left.

The North Fork Toutle River valley and Mount St. Helens from the Castle Lake Viewpoint.

If you click here for a maclargehuge version of the above photo and look very, very closely, you'll see Mount Adams lurking. How cool is that?

And for anyone making plans to visit St. Helens: Patty's Place is open for the season, and as taste-bud pleasing as ever. ZOMG the cobbler. I could live there for the cobbler!

I'll be back later in the week with something you can sink your teeth in to. It's the summer field season, my darlings: prepare your rock hammers!