Mt. St. Helens, Oct. 1, 2004

Mt. St. Helens Eruption 2004

This week’s Throwback Thursday takes us back to October 1, 2004, at Mt. St. Helens. At 12:04 p.m. Pacific Time on Oct. 4, 2017, Mt. St. Helens awoke from her slumber while I was driving up Windy Ridge Road (below image).

Mt. St. Helens violently erupted at 8:32 a.m. PT on May 18, 1980, thirty seven years ago on this day, reducing the 9,677-foot peak down to 8,363. The massive pyroclastic blast flattened out vegetation over 200 square miles and sending a lahar down the Toutle River.

The eruption killed 57 people, including USGS volcanologist David Johnston and Spirit Lake lodge owner Harry Truman.

The eruption on October 1, 2004, was nothing more than a tiny belch. I remember the morning on May 18, 1980, standing along SE 10th St. overpass over I-205 and watching Mt. St. Helens shoot up a dark plume of ash.

The Cascade Park area had little development at the time, making the mountain more visible from the overpass. That was impressive stuff. I was probably a little too young to take photos at the time, though.