I just got back from the local bookshop where my eye was caught by National Geographic’s cover story on Mount St Helens.
The article inside talks about the rebounding of the local ecosystems, the future of the currently off-limits 110,000-acre research area, the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, and the giant mystery trout now in Spirit Lake.
The companion photo gallery is predictably gorgeous.
The best part of the online article, though, may be the original coverage from 1981. I remember when the eruption was all over the news. I was insanely jealous of a grade school classmate who brought in a jam jar full of volcanic ash for show and tell (a gift from a northern relative). We stuffed our hands into the jar and wiggled our fingers through the grey silt, and I stole a fingertips-full and secreted it in my pocket for later. I wonder if that jam jar is still on a shelf somewhere.
“First I must tell you that I count it no small wonder to be alive. Looking back on the fateful events preceding Mount St. Helens’ terrible eruption last May 18, I recognize that I—and others—had been drawn into a strange kind of Russian roulette with that volcano in the Cascades… “