On Mount St. Helens’ southeast side, Gifford Pinchot National Forest is one of the country’s oldest. It forms a deep green apron around Mount St. Helens, stretching more than 2,000 square miles, and the forest sopped up America’s most destructive volcanic eruption in recent times. This young volcano got a 1,300-foot trim when its peak became a crater. Still, you stand there in awe and look at it as a heavyweight who has just stepped from the ring, beat on but unbeaten.
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