|Mt. St. Helens today|
|On May 18th -- erupting|
Each year I stop to observe May 18th. On this day, thirty years ago now (a Sunday morning in the spring of 1980), a relatively small Cascade range volcano exploded, sending mud down the rivers, knocking over forests, and sending ash across the country. On this day, we have Mt. St. Helens Day, a day to remember the destructive and creative forces of the earth!
One of the reasons I remember this was that this happened shortly before I graduated from college. This year, my observance is a reminder that both the eruption and my graduation from what is now Northwest Christian University occurred 30 years ago. How time flies!
Just a few memories. I must say, I never paid much attention to the mountain prior to that day. Visiting Portland I always focused on the grandeur of Mount Hood to the East of the city. Mount St. Helens was to the north of the city, and shorter in stature. But after that day, with the top blown off, we paid attention. In the weeks that followed I was in Portland on several occasions and observed the ash that covered the city. I also took a drive up into Washington, closer to the mountain, to visit a close friend in Kelso, Washington. She lived down the street from the Toutle River. We walked down to see the massive embankment of mud and ash that had been formed along the river. It was quite a sight, something that remains memorable to this day! So, join me in remembering those 57 who died and the Mountain that changed its identity and shape.