"A family tree can wither if nobody tends its roots."


Mount St Helens

by  Phyllis Zeck

mt st helens

Mount St Helens is in Washington, about 50 miles from my home in Portland, Oregon.  Thirty five years ago, on May 18, 1980, on a beautiful warm sunny Sunday afternoon Mount St Helens erupted.  The photo above could have been taken from my upstairs bedroom window, although it wasn’t.  You can see the top of the mountain peaking out above the trees. Our home is surrounded by Forest Park which is the largest urban forest in the United States. Looking across the Willamette River I saw the top of Mount St Helens and it’s plum of ash.  It was a vision I will never forget. The eruption rose 80,000 feet and ash was blown east, towards Spokane. We had a light dusting of ash on our cars.  What started out as an ordinary Sunday for me was a life changing event for so many others. Fifty seven people were killed in this tragedy including Harry Truman an 84 year old resident of the mountain who refused to leave his property. Harry was the owner and caretake of Mount St Helens Lodge at Spirit Lake. The eruption completely displaced Spirit Lake.  


One Response to Mount St Helens

  1. 7 years ago by Lori Anderson

    I remember it like it was yesterday. You sent Mom a vase made from ash. I still have it in YOUR UT bedroom!


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