May 18, 1980, thirty-five years ago tomorrow, Mt St Helens in Washington State went off like a bomb, killing 57 people and turning hundreds of square miles of beautiful forest into a wasteland.
Here’s a handy dandy graphic from the Wiki page of what happened during the blast:
I was living near Lake Shasta at the time, and working at the K-Mart just off I-5 in Redding. I was amazed at the uptick in the numbers of travelers going north; we could tell who they were because they were buying stacks and stacks of crappy K-Mart air filters for their cars. My thought was, “Why drive into that mess on purpose?,” but I guess they had their reasons — maybe selling crappy air filters to the masses. :D
Thankfully, no one in my family was living in northern at the time. My parents and younger sister moved to Moscow the next year, so they could establish residency before my dad started law school in 1982. To hear the old people around Moscow tell it, they received anywhere from a couple inches to 12 feet of ash. As much of a nightmare as it was, I’m pretty sure it was closer to a couple inches than it was to a foot — let alone 12 feet.
Exciting times!! My inner geology geek was pinging like mad…
This is our daily open thread — where were you the day Mt St Helens went off?