Boom! Summer is here and the living is busy! My recording blog is on a temporary hiatus as I’ve been very busy with the Seattle Opera in Schools (teaching in summer school), my private students, and preparing for my Cuba concert in the fall. I participated in an amazing piano master class in Portland over the weekend with the inspiring Dr. Jill Timmons, my mentor. What a thrill and humbling experience to play a concert hall sized Bosendorfer, valued at $300,000.00 (that’s a whole other story). Joe and I made a weekend of it and spent the next day at Mount st. Helens.
After an overnight at a Super 8 along I5, we headed toward Mount St. Helens. In all, we spent about 4 hours at Johnston’s Ridge, the highest visitor’s center. We took in the exhibits, lectures, and movies and also took a short hike on a very pleasant trail with great views. There were two really interesting films about the eruption and the geology of the mountain which is still, by the way, active! The rangers also do a great job with their talks. It wasn’t an entirely clear day, but it was still spectacular. What a bonus, that the area was alive with wild flowers at their peak bloom! You can see by the pictures, the side of the mountain blown out with the landslide still looks quite barren.
The eruption was in May of 1980, 57 people died, you can see the memorial below. The explosion could be heard as far away as Missoula, Montana. I still remember waking up to an ash covered Choteau, Montana when I was about 10 years old, everything was covered with the grey dust including cars, steps, sidewalks, etc.
On our way down from the mountain, we stopped at an adorable road side cafe overlooking the Toutle River- picture of Joe drinking coffee.