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firffighter

May 18, 1980, who was around? Stories?

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I was 10 at the time of the eruption.  We lived in Sandy,  Oregon.  I remember the daylight turning to night as ash filled the sky blocking out the sun. 

Collected the ash like every kid in the region.  Made a work trip with my dad not long after and we drove up as far as we could.  Vivid memories of the swath of destruction! 

A cool story many of you have previously seen before.  Cool though from dirt bike perspective. 

https://www.hemmings.com/stories/2019/07/26/the-story-behind-that-photo-of-the-pinto-in-front-of-the-mt-st-helens-eruption

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I was inside watching something on TV when it blew. I remember running outside but couldn't see the anything. We did hear the sound of the blast very  faintly. I spent the rest of the day glued to the TV. 

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Does anyone know if there was riding going on in that area prior the St Helens becoming active? 

I don't know of the history of riding St Helens or GP.

44 minutes ago, Bigfatredpig said:

I was not alive but my dad took this picture from his Cessna. 

74517A28-7382-4859-8AE1-B98F66D570AD.jpeg

That's amazing! 

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i was riding my 77 rm 80 with my friend on tiger mountain when some hill billies drove by us and screeched to a halt and yell "you kids gets get home, St helens blew" - I just remember they looked scared totally chitless. Me and my friend where clueless, shrugged our shoulders and kept riding the powerlines on tiger. Haha

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I lived in Beaverton OR. Could see the almost perfect shaped cone of St Helens tipping over the west hills of Portland....then one morning I was looking out the window and suddenly the mtn top was gone and an ash cloud took its place. When the cloud was gone, so was the mountain.

The first blow pretty much went away from us, but subsequent eruptions did. I ended making a lot of money cleaning gutters of folks in the area. I'd climb up there with a bucket and a garden shovel. It blew up a couple more times and I came back and did the cleaning again.  If ya didn't clean it out, it was heavy, and the rain would make a sludge. Whole thing get so heavy it would rip the fascia off the eve of your house. Made enough money to buy my friends XR80

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Posted (edited)
53 minutes ago, firffighter said:

Does anyone know if there was riding going on in that area prior the St Helens becoming active? 

I don't know of the history of riding St Helens or GP.

That's amazing! 

According to that story that you posted (from Hemming's) the guy driving that Ford Pinto towing the IT was on his way there. (To Spirit lake) Luckily for him, he was late.

Edited by 00boob
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spirit lake was the most beautiful place on earth. is there any agricultural  benefits to all the ash?

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I was stationed at sub base Bangor.  Rode my Suzuki GS450 over to Spokane to visit family.  Sunday morning it gets very dark and pretty soon we are shoveling ash like it was snow.  5 days and a bunch of generic beer before I could get back to base; discovered the North Cascade Highway as it was the only route home.  I think I got an award for best excuse to be AWOL😁.   I also learned that K-Mart rain gear does not last too long at 60 mph.

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29 minutes ago, zoomdude57 said:

I was stationed at sub base Bangor.  Rode my Suzuki GS450 over to Spokane to visit family.  Sunday morning it gets very dark and pretty soon we are shoveling ash like it was snow.  5 days and a bunch of generic beer before I could get back to base; discovered the North Cascade Highway as it was the only route home.  I think I got an award for best excuse to be AWOL😁.   I also learned that K-Mart rain gear does not last too long at 60 mph.

That's amazing! 

Bet that ride was "exciting"!

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 At the time I lived in Everett, WA and had recently retired from a mediocre MX career, I was making up for all the lost partying time while racing. A friend and our girlfriends had driven my van down the Oregon coast, we had my 450 Maico and his DR 400 Suzuki in the back and did some beach riding along the coast. When the mountain blew we got on I-5, which I think was closed, and headed north, I had slept very little in the past couple of days thanks to various "party chemicals". State troopers were out but never stopped us, Semi trucks were driving slowly up I-5 side by side trying to keep speeds and the blinding ash/dust down, being the young prick I was I would pass them on the shoulder and motored on, this was at night so visibility was very poor and the ash was deep enough to compromise traction, it felt much like driving in fresh snow.

 After driving most of the night in these conditions I got up towards Tacoma and the ash was much lighter although there was enough in the air to give an eery glow in the headlights, suddenly I saw a large victorian house in the middle of the freeway, I slammed on the brakes but when I got stopped the house was gone. Everyone came up from the back of the van to see what was going on, I said I think someone else should drive now, so one of the girls drove the rest of the way home. No photos and it seems sort of dreamlike to me now, but I'll never forget it.

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Fourteen years old in 1980

When the mountain would puff steam prior to the eruption I would ride my yz100 up to the top of Yacolt mountain to take a look.

After riding a Freightliner sponsored Poker run at the Trask, the next morning we woke up to 1/8th of an inch of ash that came down with the overnight rain.

It dried out and got warm creating a real dusty mess everywhere.

May 18th 1980 I lived in North County, we headed to church in Amboy WA which started at 10AM, I don't recall viewing the mountain prior to the service but while in church the building shook pretty violently sometime between 11:30 and noon.

After church we had a get together scheduled in Chelatchie Prairie and had to talk our way through a road block at the intersection where the store is. We spent the afternoon watching coverage on tv as well as outside with a hilltop view of the mountain.

I had a dirtbike riding buddy in English class named Joe Killian, on the weekends, Joe would help search for his dads brother who was one of the missing, they never found him. 

 

 

Christy Liann Killian, 20, Vader forklift operator (17)

John Garland Killian, 29, Vader logger (E)

John was camping with his wife Christy at Fawn Lake. The two had only been married for 7 months. John was a graduate of Toledo High School.

Gravesite Details Died during eruption of Mount St. Helens, from Vader, Washington. His body was never recovered.

 

Another buddy was fishing in a rowboat on horseshoe lake when the eruption happened, sticks and rocks came raining down into the water and it took them five hours to drive what should have been one hour to Randle WA.

Edited by 8675309
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11 hours ago, firffighter said:

Does anyone know if there was riding going on in that area prior the St Helens becoming active? 

I don't know of the history of riding St Helens or GP.

That's amazing! 

Old timer riding buddy tells stories about riding his step through trail 90 on Pristine trails as far back as 1965, the 90 road had not been constructed yet. There was an old bridge to cross the lewis river at lower falls. Boundary trail dates back to the early 20th century.

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10 hours ago, campdirt said:

spirit lake was the most beautiful place on earth. is there any agricultural  benefits to all the ash?

Yes, my uncle owns large fruit farms near Yakima and had to spread his money around to different banks as the fdic only covered $100,000 per bank per depositor.

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I was living in Chicago land during the incident, I remember being in my last year of jr high the sky got really funky, the weather changed drastically that portion of the year, really interesting stuff, i think they sold tee shirts or something to commerate the excitement. Sorry for the suffering folks during that era though...

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Awesome stories!  Certainly an indelible part of our local history. Certainly something I will never forget and even at 10 it seemed historic and impactful.  

I was definitely fascinated with Harry Truman and the media interviewing him several times.  

We all know how active the Mt had been prior to eruption.  We spent all of our Summers and Fall cutting wood. My grandfather was a logger his entire life and we would go up in the mts and get wood as everyone had a woodstove back then.  I remember one of the early evenings in late summer coming down from the mts and looking directly at St Helens having a pretty significant smaller eruption.  It felt pretty ominous. 

 

 

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