Today we toured the pumice plains incredibly close to Mt. St. Helens. The journey was five miles long roughly and along the way we saw the reddish hue created by the rust on the rocky outcroppings while we crunched our way by on the pumice stone path. We enjoyed a nice scenic view of the mountains and Spirit Lake, and learned a lot about the eruption and what outcroppings can tell us about the 1980 eruption. We learned a lot about pumice, rocks, volcanoes, pyroclastic blasts, and witnessed the aftermath of a catastrophic event that shook the northwest. We split into two groups and we observed an outcrop. We first observed and drew a detailed illustration, then continued on to pick away at rocks at the three main layers of the outcrop. We learned how many details there were that differentiated rock varieties and it was really cute to see the volcanologists’ geek out about each rock. We were able to use Sonya’s fancy camera to take pictures of the other GeoGirls and the outcroppings. Along the way we saw a bright green frog and we were able to snag a picture of the amphibian before it hopped off. In addition, there were many plants; especially these bright purple flowers, named Lupine. They were the first plants to come back after the eruption.

Contributed by the Phreatic Phoenixes