One cold quiet morning on May 18, 1980, when were camping at a camp ground about 50 miles south of Mt. Saint. Helen's. I woke to hear the most awful rumbling sound I've ever heard. The ground was shaking and I didn't know what to do. My mother ran outside and told my brother, sister and I stay put, but of course we didn't. My mother screamed, as we looked to the north we saw to a huge cloud of smoke billowing up into the sky. It seemed to go up for miles and miles. Mother told us to get in the jeep and stay, so that we did. She and dad scrambled to get a few things and then we left. As we drove down the road away from the eruption, dad told us what had just happened. It took us three hours to get home and we only lived an hour from there. I was only seven, but I still remember the day it rained powder. .
On May 17, 1980, Mount Saint Helen's was a symmetrical cone, a mountain so near perfection it was sometimes called "America's Mount Fujiyama" (Carson 9). On May 18, 1980, at approximately 8:32 a.m. this once postcard mountain began to spew with blowing blasts so powerful that it knocked trees down up to 17 miles away (Carson 9). The eruption lasted nine hours, but Mount St. Helen's and the surrounding landscape were dramatically changed within moments ("Mount St. Helen's National Volcanic Monument") .
As we drove away, whitish-gray ash fell like sheets of rain on a windowsill. It smelt awful; the air was thick and hard to breathe Dad used the windshield wipers but they did not see to help much. Volcanic ash, finer than beach sand, shrouded more than four states (Carson 9). Although I didn't understand what exactly had happened, I asked my mom if I could help but she told me there was nothing I could do. I was sad when I found out that people had died from this, fifty-seven in all (Carson 53). Nearly two hundred people caught in the blast made it out alive (Carson 56). Luckily we were far enough away that we did make it out alive, but millions of animals and plants didn't (Funk & Wagnall 198).