A Blast into the Past! A tale of Adventuring to Mt. St. Helens

A BLAST INTO THE PAST!  I would like to feature guest blogger — Shea Mackinnon in this post.  Read about her story of visiting Mt. St. Helens in 1982, two years after the eruption in 1980.  You will be amazed at Shea’s bravery and sense of adventure.  I would love to read more Mt. St. Helen’s stories and feature them here.  If you have a story about Mt. St. Helens you would like to submit for, “A Blast into the Past,” to be published on this blog, place you comment on this post with your email address (It will be kept private). I look forward to reading your stories!  For now, buckle your seat belts and take a…

Camping Trip Into Adventure…Orange bug

In 1982, I took a very long camping vacation – almost a year.  I packed my VW Beetle front trunk with:   1 duffle bag summer clothes, 1 duffle bag winter clothes, a tent, sleeping bag, Coleman stove and cooking utensils.

The only things visible in the car were a large ice chest (on the back seat), a folding table, and 2 chairs (fit behind the front seats.)

Backroads Travel – I mostly avoided the interstates and traveled the old highways.  Whenever I spotted a good place to camp, I would ask the farm land owners if it was okay to pitch a tent.  They always asked me to dinner because they wanted to hear about my trip.  Although invited I didn’t spend the night in their houses.

I had good fishing gear, crossbow, 357 pistol, binoculars, crank radio (no batteries), and a passport.  Before I left I cut my long hair into a pixie style and sold it for $300 to a wig company.

I drove all the way to Alaska, then back down the pacific coast, across Mexico, all the way to Honduras, then back up to the Texas border and home.



Visit to Mt. St. Helens – My visit to Mt. St. Helens was stunning!!  It was so lush with flora and fauna.  I met some scientists from Switzerland who had been there since 5 days after the eruption.  They were studying the area to see how it would recover.  They had discovered a plant genus never before seen.


I camped nearby but didn’t stay as long as I would have liked because the black flies were swarming.  The dark spots made by their microscopic bites finally faded away after about a year.

Note:  A black fly (sometimes called a buffalo gnat, turkey gnat, or white socks) Over 1,800 species of black flies are known. Most black flies gain nourishment by feeding on the blood of mammals, including humans, although the males feed mainly on nectar. Swarms of these tiny insects have been known to stampede cattle.

Your video, Beautiful Things – Mt. St. Helens,  is a fantastic illustration of how well the Mt. St. Helens area recovered – Maybe even surpassing its previous state.  Click here to view the Beautiful Things Mt. St. Helens video.

Blog Post Written by Shea Mackinnon

to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”  Isaiah 61:3

About Kimberly Guthrie

Kimberly Guthrie loves adventures in the outdoors. National Park Ranger, Outdoor instructor, curriculum writer, teacher and guide at Mount St. Helens’ Seven Wonders Museum are some of her life adventures. Kim continues to write and teach about the outdoors. Currently, she serves as outdoor education consultant for Allaso Ranch near Hawkins, Texas. Kim holds a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from University of Central Arkansas and a masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Northern Illinois University.
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