reply to post by westcoast
OK first off.. WOW
Great story WC. You definately have a knack for this writing thing
I felt as if I was in your shoes, experiencing it with
you, or even AS you. Well done!
Now to the meat of the story, as I too experienced St Helens that day, but from a very different perspective. I will just append my story to your
thread, as its not worthy of its own thread, but makes for a nice anecdotal addition to yours
I too was 9 years old on that fateful Sunday morning. Unlike you, I was lucky enough to live on the west side of the Cascades, so my experience with
the eruption was less immersive than yours
I was up early, to watch my favorite Sunday morning cartoons ( Starblazers FTW!! ) and I heard a large
BOOM outside. My parents, who were still in bed, thought it was me banging around in the living room. Now I barely even reacted to the boom outside,
as our retired neighbor across the street had a habit of getting up at the crack of dawn, to hunt moles in his yard with a shotgun that he had
borrowed from my dad. Imagine if you will, a small rambler in suburbia of the early 80's, owned by a retired couple, and the perfectly manicured lawn
that would accompany it. Our neighbor tended to take a bit of issue with the moles that continually were attempting to destroy the putting green like
lawn he so lovingly cared for.
It was only about 30 minutes later that my cartoons were interupted with the news about the eruption. I ran and woke my parents to share the news with
them. Of course I was terribly excited about it, because I had been avidly following Mt St Helens from its first grumblings. The majesty and power of
it all was like a drug for my spongelike 9 year old brain, and to this day vulcanology, plate tectonics, earthquakes and geology are a few of my
favorite subjects. My mom and I decided to go out to try to see if we could actually see the ash plume from where we lived ( Lynnwood at the time ).
And were able to do so from just a small overpass on I-5. I remember that sight to this day, and even think I have a picture that I took of that
About a year later, we had to head down to the Portland area for something, and I insisted that we stop along the Cowlitz river, one of the two rivers
that got absolutely devastated from the runoff and ash from the mountain. I to this day still have the 3 mason jars with the ash that I collected.
Along with the edition of National Geographic that has the picture of St Helens blowing its top.
I cannot imagine the terror you must have felt at seeing that as a child in the Yakima area ( I assume thats about where you were
) I know the dark
clouds, and then the snow that was not snow that started to fall would have been terrifying. I remember seeing the pictures of day turned to absolute
night from the clouds and ash.
Thank you for the wonderful story WC.