This past week felt like Check Stuff Off the List Week - Braces off, CHECK! Flowers to preschool teachers, CHECK! Boxes from the liquor store, CHECK! Mount St. Helens, CHECK! Not necessarily related to each other but each important.
Artemis has been under the care of the fantastic Dr. Curtis Carlson, and the past couple years his office has felt like our second home. When the braces went on last year, the Big Plan was already in our minds although we hadn’t yet told the children. Uppermost in our minds as we discussed with the doctor was whether or not the teeth would move in time. They did! The teeth cooperated, and last Thursday morning Artemis got her braces off to reveal a sweet smile full of straight pearly whites. Apollo is worried that he’s up next, but I told him to relax because he’s got at least a year’s reprieve.
In another department, Tuesday the 18th, as everyone surely knows, was the 30th anniversary of the volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens, and for nearly that long I’ve wanted to go down there and see it and get in on the action.
The first section of this year’s science curriculum we learned about geology. There was a section on Mount St. Helens and all that geologists have learned in studying its eruption and recovery. We decided we had to make it a field trip.
Wednesday was our day. The forecast was for rain, but it dawned clear and sunny. We trekked down bright and early and started our day at the 7 Wonders Museum. The museum curators, Lloyd and Doris Anderson greeted us with cookies and coffee and then Lloyd gave us his excellent presentation about the mountain, it’s rapid destruction and rapid recovery. A display at the museum tells it all:
This month’s National Geographic cover story was about the incredible speed of recovery on the mountain. It is estimated that in 200 years the forest will look just like it did prior to the eruption. Indeed as we drove up the highway to Johnston Ridge we could see where a huge area of forest was destroyed but is now the vegetation is coming back.
Okay, full disclosure: we could see bits of forest recovering through the clouds and rainstorm that had moved in and hid the mountain from view when we got to the top.
Here it is!
Hmmm…. Do you see the lava dome?
Heavy sigh. Oh well, it was spectacular nonetheless, and our guide said that the driving rain and windy gusts were some of the worst he’d seen in 15 years of giving tours!
I had hoped to check Mount St. Helens off my Life List, but no, someday I will have to go back and really see it and also go on the hike that we’d planned.
Science Coop with Lloyd our guide on the left
and since they weren’t in the last picture:
Uncle Chip and Doris Anderson back at the museum