I was 8 years old. The West Hills blocked our view of Mt. Saint Helens, even standing on the berm in our backyard. On that day, however, we could see the massive plume of ash rising 12 miles (19 km) above what was left of the mountain.
That was 28 years ago today.
Later that summer white stuff fell from the sky in Portland and we ran inside to tell our dad it was snowing. It wasn’t snow of course. We collected ash in boxes, imagining we would make a million dollars selling it to tourists. Alas, the tourists were tough customers.
1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens – Wikipedia
Mount St. Helens Precursory Activity: March 15 – 21, 1980 – U.S. Geological Survey/Cascades Volcano Observatory
Lessons from the volcano in our backyard – The Olympian
Mount St. Helens dome building up close in time-lapse – The Oregonian
Mt. Saint Helens Anniversary – Eruptions: A blog of of worldwide volcanoes and eruptions
An Afternoon, A Full Tank of Gas, Chapter Four – Mile73.com
What’s Your Most Cherished St. Helens Eruption Memento? – The Naked Loon