As everyone who has watched the news in the last several days already knows, Mt. St. Helens has been making some noise and has generated a lot of interest. My grandparents happened to be painting their deck when the big blast occurred in 1980. They watched helplessly as ash fell into the wet paint ruining it. Then it was tragedy, but now, it is a family story (which most of us think is kind of funny). Now, my parents live in that house, and the grandparents have moved ten miles to be closer to town. And guess what they are doing? Painting their new deck for their new home. I know it would be a lot of money to repaint a deck, but if ash managed to make it down here in a new explosion to ruin their paint job, I really would find that hilarious.

Anyhow, while looking, I found this link to the live webcam from the Johnston Ridge Observatory (named for the scientist who died in the 1980 blast). In the interest of science, I present the following to you. Enjoy.

UPDATE: October 4th, 8 a.m.-- Scientists have said that the lava dome, that big bulgy thing in the crater of the volcano that acts like a lid on a shook up soda bottle, has moved 50 to 100 feet! They were concerned when it looked like it had moved just a couple of centimeters. Another thing I have heard is that Volcanoes in the Northwest have a tendency to explode, shooting out plumes of ash rather than erupt with rivers of lava. It looks like the darn thing could blow at any minute. While I hope I get to see it when it happens, I also hope noone gets hurt.

UPDATE 2: October 4th, 6:00 p.m. -- This information about the Volcano is really interesting. I found it on one of the US Geological Survey sites:
Northwest Indians told early explorers about the firey Mount St. Helens. In fact, an Indian name for the mountain, Louwala-Clough, means "smoking mountain". According to one legend, the mountain was once a beautiful maiden, "Loowit". When two sons of the Great Spirit "Sahale" fell in love with her, she could not choose between them. The two braves, Wyeast and Klickitat fought over her, burying villages and forests in the process. Sahale was furious. He smote the three lovers and erected a mighty mountain peak where each fell. Because Loowit was beautiful, her mountain (Mount St. Helens) was a beautiful, symmetrical cone of dazzling white. Wyeast (Mount Hood) lifts his head in pride, but Klickitat (Mount Adams) wept to see the beautiful maiden wrapped in snow, so he bends his head as he gazes on St. Helens.
I want to hear more of these kind of stories about the mountains in the news, rather than see reporters get excited every time there is a belch of steam. Oh, and one final thing, don't make that Sahale guy angry. Apparently he has a temper.

03 October 2004
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