Discover how vegetation is returning to the barren slopes of Norway Pass, swept clean on May 18, 1980, by the eruption of Mount St. Helens. On slopes facing the eruption, trees were flattened in neat rows. However, on the back side of Norway Pass there must have been a whirlwind, for the trees were piled on top of one another in all directions like jackstraws.
On a hot, dry day in 1982, we made our way through the tangled mess—over and under countless logs—to peer into Spirit Lake. To our surprise, we found a small oasis of flowers in bloom on the side of Mount Margaret. The flowers were explained by the deep winter snow that had covered the plants during the blast, protecting them from heat that reached up to 400 degrees, scorching all the plants elsewhere.
© 2004 Art Kruckeberg with Karen Sykes & Craig Romano/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.