On this day 29 years ago I saw something that I’ll never forget. I was 10 years old and just sitting down to breakfast with my family. We had the television on and they broke in saying that Mt St Helens was finally blowing (she’d been teasing for a couple months). We instantly got up and ran out the front door to watch this happen live. What we saw was absolutely stunning.

Living here in Vancouver, WA we are less than 50 miles away so we had a front row seat to the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States. If she had erupted in a southerly direction I might not be sitting here typing this message…

Since I was just a kid at the time, my recollection of May 18th, 1980 and the months that followed aren’t so serious. I recall watching the ash fall to the ground like snow (only grey and dirty). I remember what a great thing all the ash was for scooping with our Tonka trucks. I remember our parents letting us go out and play in it as long as we wore our masks. This still makes me laugh.

Unfortunately not everyone got to remember it through the eyes of being a 10 year old boy. To those who lost loved ones, homes, property and businesses my heart goes out to you. It was an absolutely insane time in our world here in SW Washington. Below is a video I found while looking for footage and it really touched my heart. I decided this was the one I needed to share today. I hope it touches you too.

Were you here? Did you see it? What do you remember? Please share your experiences and memories in the comments. Thank you.