Continuing along blogging through the alphabet with homeschoolers online, we’re on the letter V this week.
Hasn’t every homeschool family built a model volcano that erupts baking soda and vinegar? I’m pretty sure it’s a requisite rite of passage. Little known fact about me: I love volcanos. It’s a fascination fueled by a healthy fear, surely stemming from the oversized poster of lava-laden Kilauea that hung on the wall right next to my bed and haunted my dreams as a youngster.
Since moving from Montana we no longer sit directly atop an active super-volcano (aka Yellowstone National Park), but Portland is host to a dormant one (Mt. Hood), and neighbor to the famously tempremental Mount Saint Helens. A recent family fieldtrip took us back to the belly of the beast…
We hadn’t been since my 27th birthday, which was ahem was more than a few years back. Older now, our kiddos were fascinated by the interpretive centers, eager to learn about seismology, pyroclastic flow, molten magma, mudslides, and more. I concede it was a bit sobering and almost eerie to behold the still-evident destruction of the 1980 blast, including entire forests of still decaying trees all blown the same direction, laying uniform atop neighboring hills and mountains.
The regeneration of the ecosystem in the surrounding area is amazing to behold, and there are hiking trails all over to get up close and personal with it.
Unrelated to volcanic activity, we continued that day’s field trip south to the Columbia River’s Bonneville Dam, which boasts an incredible visitor center showcasing the engineering and operation of the dam, the history of the region, and fish ladders which preserve our native salmon runs.
We then skipped over to Multnomah Falls for a quick jaunt through the dense crowd of tourists.
So in our house V is for Volcanos.
And a related book recommend, since I missed this week’s installment of What to Read Wednesday:
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