So, about 40 years ago today this happened:
I was born in '85, so I was not around for the eruption, but growing up in the Portland Metro area, hoo boy did I get to see the aftermath. Even though the mid-90s I remember that if you drove through the blast area you could still see hundreds of miles of utterly leveled timber, and the rest of the area was a desolate, blasted wasteland. Like, in 1992, if you were going to make a live-action version of Lord of the Rings, you wouldn't need to go to New Zealand to find someplace to double for the Plains of Gorgoroth.
However, much to the surprise of probably a lot of people, the area around Mt. St. Helens has had an amazing ecological recovery - there are even fish in Crystal Lake again. I'm not going to say that you can't tell the difference - half the mountain was blown away - but it is night and day from the wasteland that there was before.
So, for those on the boards who live in the PNW - what are your memories of the aftermath of the eruption, and if you're old enough to be around when it happened, do you have any stories to tell?