Visitors in awe of Mount St. Helens 37 years after eruption

Mount St. Helens erupted 37 years ago

MOUNT ST. HELENS, Wash. -- Mother Nature played nice for the 37th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens.

The crater was in full view most of the day from the Johnston Ridge observatory. The crowds were relatively light compared to what they will be this summer. But for those who made the trek it was well worth it.

“We came up today because number one, it’s the anniversary. The 37-year anniversary!” Peggy Harmann said.

She and her husband, Jeff, are visiting the Northwest from Tennessee and could not wait to see the famous volcano.

"We are amazed. We have heard of Mount St. Helens, we thought we understood. But now that we’ve been here—we’ve seen the magnitude of it—it’s just incredible. Unbelievable,” Peggy said.

Photos: 37 years ago, Mount St. Helens blew her top

The couple has seen other volcanoes but none like this.

“We went to Hawaii once and we saw the volcano there and it was so different—it was oozing out. And then you see this and you see what happened here and it blows your mind,” Jeff said.

Jodi McCullers is another long distance visitor.

“I’ve always wanted to come ever since it happened,” she said.

She remembers watching the news back home in Florida and seeing the mountain blow. She was a senior in high school.

“It’s hard to believe it’s been 37 years since it happened,” she said.

Pilot's 1980 St. Helens blast photos

Don Clapp from Seattle remembers driving down in the weeks before the eruption to snap pictures.

“When they closed the roads off I was one of the people that went around the road block,” he said.

Russell Grover remembers hearing about the eruption as a high school senior in Kelso. Now he returns on every anniversary with his mother.

“Oh I love it! When it went off I really thought it was cool. I was 18 years old. I was kind of disappointed because that was the summer I was gonna climb it.”

The mountain continues to make slight changes, the dome seems a bit bigger than last year and it carries more snow than we’ve seen in a few years on this day.

But geologic time creeps ever so slowly preserving the incredible images at Mount St. Helens for all who want to see.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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