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cdestroyer
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PostMon May 18, 2020 5:33 pm 
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I remember I was waiting for a store to open in aurora village and was listening to the radio when they announced the eruption...after I got home I tuned in to watch the lone news reporter running for his life and filming the eruption...
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostMon May 18, 2020 5:58 pm 
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40 years!  Holy cow that makes me feel old.  I grew up in White Salmon, WA, southeast of the mountain.  We had to shovel ash in the driveway like snow after the eruption.
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Anne Elk
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PostMon May 18, 2020 6:16 pm 
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Columbia Magazine, publication of the Washington State Historical Society  has a downloadable PDF of the current issue's cover story, "Inside the Red Zone: Jeff Renner remembers the eruption of Mount St. Helens".  King 5's retired long-time weather guy was interviewed on KUOW this morning, inexplicably not available for podcast.  According to the article, Renner and the rest of the crew had come perilously close to being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  It's pretty amazing that they even took the chance flying a helicopter with all the ash floating around.  eek.gif

I drove out west to work at a ranch in the Wind Rivers not long after the eruption.  When I got there, they were still sweeping some ash off their porches.

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moonspots
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PostMon May 18, 2020 6:21 pm 
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I was in Oklahoma City and recall driving along I-40 wondering where such a huge forest fire could possibly be to cause the sky to become so "forest fire" orange at sunset.

I've wondered for years if I might ever be able to find someone who was on Mt Rainier, or Mt Adams at the time, and would love to hear their stories.

When I returned home, wife said there had been a significant layer of ash on the cars in the driveway. We're maybe 1000 miles directly east?

Say, this reminds me of another puzzlement. In maybe 1985, dad drove us up to take a look at the volcano and the surrounding area. We drove into the blast zone from the north, I don't know which highway, and those large Douglas Firs were laying down like wheat in a field that had just been hit by hail. About 5 years ago, I took the grandkids up there and all the trees are gone! where did they go?

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treeswarper
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PostMon May 18, 2020 6:34 pm 
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My Datsun pickup began eating oil after I drove the backroads to get back to Twisp.  The highways were closed due to ash.  The pickup started using a quart of oil every 150 miles after that.

I still have my jar of 40 year old ash.

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GeoTom
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PostMon May 18, 2020 6:44 pm 
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moonspots wrote:
I've wondered for years if I might ever be able to find someone who was on Mt Rainier, or Mt Adams at the time, and would love to hear their stories

There were climbers on the summit of Mt. Adams at the time. A couple photos they took were featured in a National Geographic magazine article in early 1981.

Here's a quick link showing the photos: Click here

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moonspots
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PostMon May 18, 2020 7:45 pm 
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GeoTom wrote:
moonspots wrote:
I've wondered for years if I might ever be able to find someone who was on Mt Rainier, or Mt Adams at the time, and would love to hear their stories

There were climbers on the summit of Mt. Adams at the time. A couple photos they took were featured in a National Geographic magazine article in early 1981.

Here's a quick link showing the photos: Click here

Thank you, nice (incredible) shots. I really like the second one, the hikers is on his butt with one foot in the air!  lol.gif I'm guessing he was quite surprised!

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Malachai Constant
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PostMon May 18, 2020 8:55 pm 
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I have told this story before. I had been inside the red zone taking pix the Sunday before. The bulge was large like an aneurism. I was planning on going back again on Sunday. I slept in and when I woke up the pictures were on tv. Instead went to Mt. Eleanor met some climbers coming down, they thought there was a massive explosion at Fort Lewis. It was cloudy and they could not see the cloud. Lynda was driving up from Portland in a cloud of ash and could not see the road but somehow made it to Seattle. We had not met yet. It was quite a time.

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zephyr
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PostMon May 18, 2020 11:55 pm 
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Nice little video presentation of the event.  ~z

.
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ale_capone
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PostTue May 19, 2020 8:09 am 
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I was 8 going on 9 living in Detroit. I remember hearing the breaking  news on AM radio at my grandma's house. I also recall it being very hot that summer. Being naive, I thought the volcano directly heated up the atmosphere.

A few things stand out from the early 80's in my memory. This was huge news. One of those events that many remember what they where doing when it happened. I can only imagine how much more it means to people who lived in this area then.
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ale_capone
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PostTue May 19, 2020 8:15 am 
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moonspots wrote:
GeoTom wrote:
moonspots wrote:
I've wondered for years if I might ever be able to find someone who was on Mt Rainier, or Mt Adams at the time, and would love to hear their stories

There were climbers on the summit of Mt. Adams at the time. A couple photos they took were featured in a National Geographic magazine article in early 1981.

Here's a quick link showing the photos: Click here

Thank you, nice (incredible) shots. I really like the second one, the hikers is on his butt with one foot in the air!  lol.gif I'm guessing he was quite surprised!

It looks like in the first pic he is holding his head in horror, then he collapses from the stress. I think it might have been a true case of cataplexy.  I can almost guarantee I would do the same thing.
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Hesman
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PostTue May 19, 2020 8:52 am 
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I was almost 2 years old, so I don’t remember anything. My parents told me that a neighbor was listening to the radio in anticipation of it erupting and when it did, yelled to my parents from their house to ours that St. Helens had just blown its top.

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You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. - Abraham Lincoln
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treeswarper
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PostTue May 19, 2020 9:07 am 
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A Packwoodian told me about his experience.  He saw it erupt from Lone Tree mountain which is just outside of Randle.  He saw a bolt of lightning erupt along with the explosion.  People in Randle did not hear the explosion.

He was working with a crew of tree planters, maybe one of them spoke and understood English.  The Packwoodian did not speak Spanish.  After watching the eruption, they figured they better get back to Randle.  He got in his pickup and they got in their van and started down. The ash began to fall and the day turned black.  His pickup quit running.  He got in with the tree planters and they crept down the mountain trying to see the road.  He said the planters looked terrified, and he might have looked that way too.  It took two or three (I can't remember) hours to get back to Randle.  Normally, that would be a half hour drive.  He ended up spending the night on his office floor.

The stories about working in the blast area to get timber out are interesting also.  Folks were helicoptered in to cruise the downed trees.  They were supposed to wear respirators.  They soon found out that they couldn't work with the respirators on--cruising timber on that ground causes  one to breathe hard and the respirators prevented that.  Timber fallers went through a lot of chains.  Afterwards, one could find spots where they'd left or forgotten a cache of chains.

A couple years more and it was interesting to watch the interaction of the heavy tourist traffic mixed with the heavy logging traffic on the 25 road.  Also, Randle was making the most of their location.  Windy Ridge was THE place to go see the volcano.  When the new visitor center off I-5 became operational, the traffic through Randle dried up.  However, I'd still run into an irate tourist.  One guy was furious because he drove all the way from Virginia in April only to find that Windy Ridge was inaccessible.  I suggested he rent a snowmobile, but that didn't go over very well.

Every once in a while, there is mention of a year round "scenic" highway being put in that would connect Randle with the new visitor center.  The 25 road is in a state of crumble on the north side. The 26 road also has major problems and that's how it goes.

The Huff and Puff drive in still exists.  EAT!

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Cyclopath
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PostTue May 19, 2020 12:23 pm 
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Hesman wrote:
I was almost 2 years old, so I don’t remember anything. My parents told me that a neighbor was listening to the radio in anticipation of it erupting and when it did, yelled to my parents from their house to ours that St. Helens had just blown its top.

I was also 2 years old, and living in the Rockies.  My mom tells me I was obsessed, I saw the news and that's the only thing that was on my mind for the next month.
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Jake Robinson
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PostTue May 19, 2020 2:03 pm 
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GeoTom wrote:
moonspots wrote:
I've wondered for years if I might ever be able to find someone who was on Mt Rainier, or Mt Adams at the time, and would love to hear their stories

There were climbers on the summit of Mt. Adams at the time. A couple photos they took were featured in a National Geographic magazine article in early 1981.

Here's a quick link showing the photos: Click here

Some of those that were in that party are family friends. Their story of hightailing it down the mountain as the ash cloud came for them, with electricity buzzing their ice axes and being surrounded by lightning, is something else.
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