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August 27, 2000
I was 6 years and 8 days old on May 18, 1980 when this mountain blew. I do remember seeing the news stories, but most of my memories of it came later on as I got old enough to know what the hell was going on.
I love volcanoes. I always have. Coming to this place was a humbling emotional experience. What a reminder of how unsettled this planet is. Who are we to assume we can control it? Nature laughs at our arrogance!
I'm going to post the pictures we took, but nothing I can say will really do justice to the vast amounts of information available on this place. From how the volcano errupted, to forest recovery, to wildlife, and other science facts, nothing I can say will do it justice. SO, I will post the pictures, and hope that you will go here on your own.
This is the first view you get from an observation deck outside of the monument. The valley below is the Toutle river. All the grey you see is not water. it is sediment from the mudflows. The straight line is the old 504 highway, I believe.
This is the initial blast zone, right at the north side of the Mountain. 20 years ago, this area was teeming with Elk and old growth forest full of 8' in diameter trees.
See any trees?
So, now what? You go back!