postcards from the blast zone are now ten percent off
Pre-eruption, this was one of the more sublime forest vantages one could hope to find anywhere in the Cascades south of Mount Rainier, not only for the green curtain of subalpine perfection the Pacific Northwest is known for but also that mind-bogglingly symmetrical stratovolcano (the Fujiyama of America) soaring to the sky before a sprawling, wind-dappled mountain lake. If it weren’t for copyrights, I’d share a scanned photograph of this exact view from one of my dusty, old books on the Cascades.
To more fully get the drift of Tah-one-lat-clah before the 1980 eruption, all one has to do is: 1. Plop more than a thousand feet of volcanic rock back on the mountaintop (don’t forget to pack it real tight inside of the crater or the whole thing is gonna slide back out, surely you must know this from your sandcastle-building days?); 2. Aim twenty-five Acme snowmaking machines 360 degrees around the mountain and pull the levers back to the Full-Blast Blizzard setting for several weeks because doggone, it takes a lot of snowflakes to make even one glacier; 3. Finally, plant several hundred thousand trees hereabouts where I stood for this frame. They don’t have to be super-big because far as I’ve been able to determine this particular area was primarily second growth woods being that Weyerhaeuser, other private logging enterprises and the State of Washington (pencils for schools, at least) had already helped themselves to the ancients. Voila! There you go! Can you picture it? If not, this panorama must suffice for now. Come back in a couple centuries so you really get my meaning.