Noble firs lined the route nearing Mount St. Helens. They had this real horizontal pattern that resembled Lego™ trees.

Purple flowers also were along the way, Lupines I'm told. After 24 years, the route was quite lush with vegetation.

There's the volcano, off in the distance, under the clouds.

At the Johnston Ridge Observatory (one of three dozen visitors centers) there was this educational mannequin with a projected face talking about something. I couldn't get past the fact that her movements were incredibly Christopher Reeve-like. Very freaky stuff. Kids were crying.

No large mammals survived the blast. They were unable to find shelter from the hurricane-force wind of the super-heated gases and rock.

Disposable cameras were all the rage with the tourists.

The highlight was the big relief map with these fiber-optic light things that showed the flow of the ash, mud and magma blast.