Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Mount Saint Helen's National Monument

Mount Saint Helen's exploded with the force of a ten megaton bomb on May 18, 1980. That's 500 times the power of the Hiroshima bomb. It's a little strange to watch the contemporary videos and see the strange haircuts, moustaches and sideburns of Americans 31 years ago.

The scientists had been nervously monitoring earthquakes and "harmonic vibrations" from the mountain for several months, but no one expected the cataclysm that caused the Mount St. Helen's  to end up 1300 feet shorter. The show started with a cubic mile of the Mountain's north face sliding down at 150 miles per hour. The mud and rocks ended up as much as seven miles away. They dropped into Spirit Lake and kicked up an 800 foot wave. The wave slid back into the lake carrying trees six feet in diameter that had been blasted out by the roots.

The landslide loosed a blast of ash, magma and rock that went out as far as 17 miles with wind speeds of 700 miles per hour. Hot air and rocks seared and killed huge trees far beyond the 17 mile blast zone that knocked down every tree. There were 160 square miles of old growth trees ripped out by the roots and many more square miles of trees killed by heat, high winds and blast rocks

Within minutes the heat of the blast melted all the snow and ice on the mountain and caused a 200 foot high wave of water, rocks and mud that buried the river system many miles to the north to depths of 600 feet.

The ash from the eruption rose 12 miles into the air. Within two weeks the ash plume encircled the earth. I think Mrs. Phred and I came here in 1993. The road we were on today did not exist back then. All the roads into St. Helen's and Spirit Lake were destroyed for about 25 miles back from the mountain on the North side... We saw the knocked down trees from the South...This time we have a road on the North Side that reaches to within 5 miles of the crater...

Cause it's the new Mother Nature takin' over
It's the new splendid lady come to call
It's the new Mother Nature takin' over
She's gettin' us all
She's gettin' us all


  1. You may have to check that date... I lived in Washington May 18 1980 when the mountain blew.

  2. Check your date... it was May 18 1980. I lived there when Mt St Helens blew.