Sunday, May 18, 2008
Where were you when the mountain blew?
I was in California at the time, and I was preparing to leave El Cajon and come home to Washington. I remember that morning, when friends came running in and said, "The mountain erupted!" Of course, the first thought was of Mt. Rainier, and believe me, if that happened, what I once knew as "home" would be no more. Horrifying thought. The fact that it was St. Helens wasn't good news, by any means.
I honestly hadn't been keeping up with the news, nor did I expect that in about another week, when I was actually on the trip north I'd encounter a repeat eruption and end up enduring the day from Hell. It would take too long to go into detail, but let me just say that if you ever catch a Mt. St. Helens documentary on the Discovery Channel, you'll have some idea.
I do have friends who were near the mountain on May 18th, and what they've related about their experiences would curl your hair. Campers literally blown from their tents by the blast and heat...One particular couple was up top on Mt. Rainier, having made an early morning climb, and they looked across the miles of clouds to see Mt. St. Helens go up in smoke. They made a very fast descent, to say the least. The pictures they took are unbelievable.
Anyway, I'm remembering my times camping at Spirit Lake, funny memories of Harry Truman, a real character who would tease and harrass us, just generally cussed, yet quite lovable in his own, unique way.
I'm glad I got to know Harry. I'm glad I got to have lazy times on the lake, laying in a rowboat, looking up at the mountain when it was pristine and silent but for bird songs.
Oh yeah, and Harry whistling and hollering at us from the shore...
at 12:53 PM