Paddling Near St. Helens

Having spent a god chunk of my life in and around the Seattle area, I confess I was a little surprised to learn about the solid paddling opportunities at a place called SIlver lake near Mt. St. Helens.

Yes, THAT Mt. St. Helens. The one that blew her top way back when on May 18, 1980 (my birthday, btw, for those playing at home). Now when most people think about paddling in the Northwest, they think of drawing strokes through the cool, crisp waters of Puget Sound, or perhaps up by the San Juans. That was me as well, so imagine how pleased I was to find some new waters to try out. This piece in the Seattle Times takes you there. By the way, since we’re talking volcanoes, this one might blow soon. Just a heads up.

Climb Again Mt. St. Helens

Many of us have birth dates that correlate with big events. Myself, it has always been interesting to me that the date of the Mt. St. Helen’s eruption falls on my birthday, May 18. I was a wee lad, but I remember it, and of course having lived in Seattle for several years, it is a big part of that region’s history. Well since that time, there have been restrictions on climbing the mountain…restrictions that just changed. According to this piece over at Outside, permits to summit Mount St. Helen’s became available on July 21.

They will be in high demand and low supply at first with only 100 climbers allowed per day until Oct. 31, when the climbing season typically ends. But if you’re one of the lucky ones to get a pass, well, how cool would that be?

I climbed the Villarica volcano in Chile and fondly remember wearing a gas mask and looking down into the churning guts of the earth. It’s an experience I will never forget. If you want to learn more, or to purchase a pass ($22 on the Internet) go to this Web site and give it a go.

St. Helens Trail to Crater Opening?

good to great news for hikers who fancy a little bit of sulphur during their walks. Not to mention great views. Looks
like the epic trail to the crater of Mt. St. Helens in Washington State might reopen. it has been
a long long time since they cut off access to it…around 2004, since the lava dome started building and scaring
geologists that another big eruption was on the way. But the trail, so I’m told, I’ve never done it, is supposedly
gorgeous, offering  sweet views inside the crater itself. They say the trail may reopen as early as this year, so
strap on your hiking boots, put on your gas mask, and get yourself a virgin.