Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mt. St. Helens

One of the attractions in the Pacific Northwest created worldwide news almost 30 years ago. Mt. St. Helens erupted. It was a major event in our area for weeks and weeks prior to May 18th 1980. When it exploded 57 people were killed, 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles of railway, and 185 miles of highway were destroyed. The side of the mountain exploded out at speeds over 300 miles an hour. Blowing debris and hot gases towards everything in it's path. A column of ash (looking similar to an atomic bomb blast) shot out of the mountain and then drifted East. Darkened the sky and ash covered Washington, parts of Oregon and then slowly made it's way around the world. Though the devastation happened within minutes, the entire eruption lasted 9hours.
At the time of the eruption I lived in Milwaukie Oregon and and attended Milwaukie Middle School. I remember the ash. I remember scooping some off our deck and keeping it. I remember helping my sister to wash it off her driveway. I remember being consumed with the event, so much so I bought a book and even (lol) a '45' of corny song written about the old man who wouldn't leave his home by Spirit Lake, Harry Truman. All these years (I lived in other areas for a while) and I have never been up to the the ol'girl....until this last Tuesday. We packed up the family and headed up there. The kids were thrilled and so was I. This mountain, being a part of my history and I was finally going to see her....AND it was amazing. I can not even explain the feeling you have when you are there. There is a sullen sense that fills you. Not the feeling when you see beautiful landscape or an ocean scene and you stand in awe of the beauty....it's an awe with a touch of sadness. It is beautiful and it is sad. It is always a great reminder of the part we play on this earth. We are so very tiny, so very powerless
when it comes to Gods creation. We humans think we have everything in the bag. Knowledge, insight, control, power...when actually we have none of those things.....apart from GOD!!! We really are but a tiny grain of sand....but Thanks be to God that HE loves us. He created all this for us.
So we enjoyed the views, talked about the past, watched a 20 minute movie about the explosion, and heard a ranger give a talk about it's current state. The kids enjoyed that part and had a lot of questions for her. We ended our day at Johnston Ridge Observatory, named after Volcanologist David Johnston who radioed these words the day of the eruption "Vancouver, Vancouver, This is it." His body was never found.


So, here are few pictures of our day. There was quite a cloud cover so we didn't get the full view of the Mountain...but it was still an amazing scene and it's always a good day when it's spent with family.




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