American Elephants

It Was 30 Years Ago Today! by American Elephant
May 18, 2010, 3:49 pm
Filed under: Environment, History, News, Science/Technology | Tags: , , , ,

[Ed. note: the following was originally posted 2 years ago on this infamous day]

Chances are, if you’re not from Washington or Oregon, the date May 18th has little meaning to you. Heck, even around here many don’t think of it unless someone reminds them. But I remember — every year. It’s one of the only world events I remember from back then — I was only ten after all; but the eruption of Mt. St. Helens on May 18, 1980 was just the kind of event that little boys remember forever.

We were very fortunate, the mountain exploded northwards, but the winds carried the ash-cloud away to the southeast. I remember being somewhat disappointed that the ash wasn’t turning day to night for us like it was for all the people on the television. In fact, we didn’t seem to get any ash-fall at all, much to my chagrin; while people on the other side of the mountain were measuring it in inches, like snow.

So much excitement! …and so little pay off.

About the most exciting thing I personally experienced was standing on my father’s roof to see the enormous plume looking fairly small and unimpressive so many miles away. I’m not sure if we heard the explosion or not. They say people heard it as far as 700 miles away, and we were certainly much closer than that. I think we did — but that could just be my memory playing tricks on me.

So close, and yet so far. But I still remember it every year.

Where were you?

Update: Michael Rubin at the Corner links to an excellent photo montage on the eruption and the aftermath.

5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

It’s one of those things where everyone
remembers where they were when it blew.


Comment by Ron spins

Seeing the Dan Rather report makes me wonder if the eruption ever happened. Perhaps the whole thing was just another forgery!


Comment by American Elephant

My father came home to Minnesota from a business trip a year later and carried home a glass vial of Mt. St. Helens ash.


Comment by zeusiswatching

Cool souvenir! (IMHO)


Comment by American Elephant

L.O.L Dan Rather…with his watermelons remark
it proves he believes his own B.S.
Just like he tried to sell us on the fake
documents , tarring and feathering George Bush
right before the 2004 election.

I used to go to mt.St Helen’s every weekend
Ape cave , Windy Ridge , lava canyon
it’s not that far


Comment by Ron spins

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