Mount St. Helens with its companion Spirit Lake began the day thirty years ago yesterday looking as they do in this old postcard (except this is an autumn scene, and May 18, 1980, was a Springtime morning). Everyone who lived in the Pacific Northwest at the time and who was old enough to understand the event remembers the eruption that changed the mountain forever. I too remember that day well. The night before, I met this man for the first time and on that Sunday morning he and I were asleep on my futon. The phone rang insistently enough to force me out of bed and into the kitchen to answer it, and on the other end of the line was my mother yelling: THE MOUNTAIN BLEW! Later this week I will post shots from the eventful private plane tour of Mount St. Helens that he and I arranged for my mother's 65th birthday in September of that year.
The mountain and I have quite a history beyond the above powerful memories of a former love and my expression of birthday love for my mother. In 1994 my husband (who wasn't my husband then; in fact, he was married to someone else) and I were both members of the office hiking club. He coordinated a hike to the top of Mount St. Helens, and oh what a climb it was! By the time we all descended safely I was unsafely in love. But that is an explosive story I am not not likely to write about here.
A bit about this gripping and unforgettable video (4:58) Full text here:
Dave Crockett has been to a place that most of us can't even imagine.
He has been to hell on Earth and back again.
For weeks in the spring of 1980, Mount St. Helens had rumbled and burped, and KOMO News crews, including Crockett, were at the mountain covering the story. But when KOMO decided to pull their crews from the mountain and let their sister station in Portland handle it, Dave was angry. On May 18 he woke up at 3 a.m. afraid he would miss out on the story of a lifetime, and he knew he had to go."Just call it a hunch," he said. "I just had a feeling something was going to happen down there."When he got there, the side of the mountain collapsed and the massive eruption began. . . .
Tree stump is shown in front(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)