I was 5 at the time but I still vividly remember May 18th 1980. We were camping about 100 miles north of Mt. St Helens, near Mt. Rainier and we actually heard the mountain erupt. My uncle thought it was some miners or something, but then reports came in over the radio that St. Helens was erupting. My Uncle and all his hunting/camping buddies jumped in there trucks and we hurried up some logging roads to a high ridge and we were able to watch St. Helens erupt for several hours. The power of the ash cloud and the lightning it made were just amazing and it is something I will never forget.
It was my 13th B-day and I went with a friend and his father out to Couer d' Alene Horse track when the ash cloud came in. His father stopped at a tavern on the way back to Spokane and had a couple and a sixer to go. We drove I-90 back in a little Dodge Colt following semi's in all the ash we couldn't see a thing. It was quite a scare since it took us nearly 3hrs to drive 30 miles. The ash stayed around for months and ruined my record collection. I miss all my Kiss records :icon_frown:
The TV program was interesting. After a bit of an intro, it shifted into describing what's happened since, and what both geology and biology have learned (and speculated about). Our only complaint was that it treated St. Helens as if it were the only mountain in the Cascades. There was no mention of any further insight that might have developed regarding the rest of this highly volcanic range, despite the fact that you could occasionally see other peaks looming in the background.
I was in my late twenties then & it was the worst thing I've ever experienced! The ash was thick & it was like driving in a snow storm white out! The ash fall was so heavy here in Newberg, OR. that it would plug the house gutters! I strongly believe the fine ash did in the vehicle I had back then. I don't ever want to experience that again! :icon_eek: