Friday, August 7, 2015

Mount St. Helens

Friday, May 29th

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It is difficult to put into words how it felt to try to recall what I had heard as an almost 8 year old living in Indiana about the eruption of Mount St. Helens versus seeing photos, reading personal accounts, and laying eyes on the remains of such a grandeur mountain as an almost 43 year old (at the time).  Not only were the events decades apart, they were worlds apart.  How in the world did I miss or forget that the north face of the mountain disappeared? The elevation of the mountain lessened by more than 1300 ft in a matter of minutes as the peak slid down the mountain, becoming an avalanche of rock and ice debris wreaking havoc on anything and everyone in its path, due to an earthquake of a magnitude of 5.1 on the Richter Scale.  Really, how does one forget that lives were lost, homes destroyed (as well as, highways, bridges, and railways), and forests were leveled/scorched in addition to feet upon feet of ash fell.  I remember hearing about the eruption and it being a serious matter, but my 8 year old brain must not have registered the significant details to long term memory.
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Maybe this is a good thing.
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Still now, just a little over two months since my visit, this is a hard post to compose.  The emotions are still high as I look over my pictures and remember how it felt driving to Mount St. Helens. Stopping at the visitor centers (there are a plenty) brought new insight to this Midwesterner/transplanted Southerner's memories.
Maybe knowing little helped me gain more in the end.
l It was majestic, yet sobering. Life had sprouted again along destruction's pathway, but had been forever changed.
I could not get enough of the beauty of the mountain itself.  There were tears in my eyes when driving closer finally brought the North face into view.  The missing peak replaced by a mile wide crater came into view and I was mesmerized.  Could not take my eyes away from the mountain.  In that moment I wondered how it felt for the locals who had this glorious mountain in their daily view to see it one day and not the next...or whenever the ash cleared enough for them to see it again.
It broke my heart.
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Never expected this reaction.
Not at all.
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It was a glorious day to see a magnificent mountain, nevertheless.
Beauty is continuing to rise from the ashes.
t



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