Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Drop in to My World--Mt. St. Helens Did 30 Years Ago

While the unpronounceable volcano in Iceland spews ash and disrupts travel (please settle down before we head for Scotland), we come to the thirtieth anniversary of the eruption of Mt. St. Helen's.

On that Sunday morning thirty years ago, we came out of church to find a big black cloud in the sky.  The eruption had happened just as we were going in to Mass. We hadn't had the radio on in the car on the way. "Big storm coming--wow!" was what we were thinking at that point.

We headed off to breakfast with Grandma and Grandpa--no, in those days we were not Grandma and Grandpa ourselves. The waitress said something about the volcano. What? "Mt. St. Helens--it erupted." "You're kidding!"

She was not kidding.

We were at the very edge of the drop zone. The sparce ash that fell on us was coarse--more like beach sand. Not too far away, however, the ashfall in Yakima was thick and the consistency of talcum powder. It darkened the skies and the street lights came on. That didn't make much difference, as with that ash in the air, people did not go out. They were too fond of breathing.  The ash in the air clogged air filters in cars--a good recipe for a ruined engine.

Closer to the event's source, the blast, which knocked the north side of the mountain off and took about a thousand feet of its elevation, also made the forest on nearby hills look like a pile of toothpicks. Logjams blocked up nearby rivers. Floods and mudflows were devastating.
Looks peaceful now, doesn't it? No, don't worry--that's just a bit of cloud.
That's My World--after 30 years.


®osadimaggio63 said...

Impressionante ciò che scrivi... comunque le foto sono meravigliose... ma soprattutto è molto bello poter vedere altri angoli di mondo restando seduti in casa.
Buona giornata :-)

Mary said...

We didn't foloow the news that week. I left Church early that day with a sick child and saw the black cloud in the WEST. The children thought it was nightime and slept through it all. My neighbor in her old car drove me down the road the next day to go to the small grocery store in Basin City and the shelves were nearly empty. I remember the big cloud of dust behind the car that stirred as we drove on the gravel road. Our hay was covered with the fine ash and sold cheap that year.

Gwendolyn L said...

The first picture is absoluted stunning. Really nice balance of colors, composition and perspective. Thanks for sharing.

Paulie said...

I remember the day and I was n SE Idaho! We got ash over there too but not that day.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Hi Katney -- thanks for visiting FT-L. I'm loving this blog -- and this post brings back memories, although we weren't as close to the fall out, we did live in the PNW back then. I read recently that some people are trying to make the site a national park.

Your pictures are just amazing.

Liz said...

That must have been amazing, to be so close. And we like to think that humans are powerful!