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Group visits 'top of the world'

King City Travel Club visits Mount St. Helens


by: BARBARA SHERMAN - Some members of the King City Travel Club along with a few other tourists look at a display inside Johnston Ridge Observatory.The King City Travel Club took a trip to Mount St. Helens on Aug. 23 to visit the Johnston Ridge Observatory. From there, visitors can see the northern side of the mountain that blew up, leaving a huge crater behind. Club members stopped at the Hoffstadt Bluffs Visitor Center and restaurant on the way up the 8,365-foot-high mountain, which used to be 9,677 feet high. It exploded May 18, 1980, following a 5.1 magnitude earthquake underneath the active volcano, making it the deadliest and most destructive volcanic eruption in U.S. history. Super-heated ash blew 60,000 feet into the air and traveled around the world. The blast flattened 230 square miles of forest, killed 57 people and destroyed 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles of railways and 185 miles of highway. The U.S. Department of Agriculture/Forest Service created the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument to preserve the volcano and allow the area to be studied as nature brings the area back to life. As if viewing the mountain wasn’t enough, the group saw an elk cross the road on the way back down the mountain, causing escort Al Tabor to say, “We are definitely a full-service travel club!”