Twenty-nine years ago today Mount St. Helens exploded sending significant portions of its mass rocketing into the atmosphere in blatant disregard for the stipulations of gravity, the EPA, and the Federal Stationary Scenery Act.
I know this because I was there.
Well…not technically on the mountain, but 50 miles away in Portland.
Okay, not actually in Portland, but rather next-door in Aloha.
Listen, when it comes to geological cataclysms the “you are here” dot covers a pretty big area.
Let’s just say that I was close enough to discover the gutter-clogging, paint-stripping, yard-blanketing properties of volcanic ash first hand.
Witnessing an event like that really makes you question the intentions of “mother” Earth. In fact, even after having fled the wrath of nature across the country to Memphis, I still don’t feel safe.
After all, if a benign landscape feature can suddenly go all Mt Doom like a Lord of the Rings sequel, what’s to stop the Mississippi River from erupting in a tsunami-like herd of muddy-brown horses, sweeping rush hour traffic from the Hernando DeSoto Bridge and visiting yet another wave of water-logged cars upon poor New Orleans?
Tell yourself it can’t happen if it makes feel better. If it helps you sleep at night.
That just what Harry Truman said.