Today in My History
Books Read in 2015
Mirror Site for RSS
Letter from Miché
The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
THAR SHE BLOWS!
18 May 2015
It was 35 years ago this week when Mt. St. Helens blew her top.
57 people were killed in the eruption, including 84 year old Harry Truman, who had lived on the mountain for many years and didn't believe it was going to erupt, so refused to evacuate.
(surprised HIM, I'll bet!)
At the time of the eruption, our very first foreign student, Eduardo, from Brasil, was living with us. We were all very interested in what was going on in Washington State and Eduardo really wished he could see it.
Walt's good friend Dave lived near the mountain in Beaverton, Oregon, which was receiving a lot of fallout of volcanic ash. So we planned a trip to take Eduardo to see Mt. St. Helen fall out. It just so happened that on that same weekend, our friend Michele was giving a surprise 50th birthday party for her husband Richard. We knew that there would be a stripper there and we gave Eduardo the choice of Oregon or stripper. But he grew up in Rio de Janeiro and could see naked ladies anytime -- but when could he ever see volcanic fall-out again? (In retrospect, we should have stayed. The party was apparently quite memorable and everybody wore Groucho glasses, even the stripper.)
We took a friend of Eduardo's with us and went on a camping trip. Because of all the ash still in the air, it was recommended that we wear face masks for our protection.
There was indeed a thick coating of ash on just about everything, especially on the leaves of the plants around Dave's house. Our kids, ever the entrepreneurs, gathered a bag of volcanic ash and when we returned home, they set up a "Punch and volcanic ash" stand.
They sold little bags of ash for 10 cents, I think, and one irate father stormed over demanding his kid's money back because he felt that he had been cheated. We assured him that yes, we really HAD been in Oregon and this really WAS volcanic ash...but if I remember correctly, he didn't believe us and insisted we give his kid's dime back anyway. (The kids may remember this more accurately than I do).
I revisited Mt. St. Helens in 2000, when Peggy was here. We were staying with my friend Diane in Seattle and Peggy also wanted to see the mountain. I was actually curious myself to see the change that had taken place in twenty years.
Twenty years after the fact, the signs of the
devastation were still evident everywhere. The power of the explosion from
the mountain could be seen in the dead trees, still lying like matchsticks
wherever you looked, many larger trees uprooted (and this after years of
clean up). There were burn scars on the walls of the opposite hills, and
walls of silt/lava many feet tall seen on the floor of the valley beneath
the mountain. It was an awesome sight seeing it up close and personal then.
I wonder how it has changed in the 15 years since I last saw it.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
This was going to be a nice big picture of Peggy and me
love it if you'd leave a comment!
HTML Guestbookis loading comments...
This is entry #5530