Found: Notes from Mount Saint Helen's explosion -
I was only 7 at the time, and I lived in SE Portland at the time. I remember three things distinctly:
1) My dad showing me the eruption cloud from somewhere in the city. I was impressed.
2) Seeing people on street corners selling dust masks.
3) Seeing about 1/4 of ash over everything one morning.
I can still feel the whole thing as I sat in my kitchen that morning, watching it on tv, wondering what the heck was going to happen next. My father had gone to Seattle, and wasn't able to get back home because I-5 was closed. Later that day we drove up on to Mt. Scott to watch. The roiling of the ash cloud over the mountain was just so alive and ominous looking. Spooky.
I remember watching the eruption from the third floor of a Senior Care facility in Sandy,Oregon. Had a perfect panoramic view of the entire mountain. Or what was left of it anyways. I remember seeing it whole the day before.
I was a teen when Mt St Helens erupted. I remember the weeks leading up to it. We were pretty sure it was going to blow (well I was). I don't remember a quake cycle immediately preceding the eruption. I have often wondered if any other local giants would stir again in my lifetime. Human life and geologic time are at opposite ends of the scale. Witnessing such cataclysmic forces of nature is a rare event for those who do not seek them out.