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By Karen Weber
I was a student at Western Washington University in Bellingham, living in the Birnam Wood student apartment building. Since it was a Sunday morning, I was lying in bed slowly waking up when I heard what sounded like a cannon going off outside. The door to my room was not completely closed, and it wiggled against the doorframe due to the sound wave from the “cannon.”
I got out of bed and wandered to the balcony to see if I could see what caused the sound. On my way, another “cannon” went off. I looked over the hill but, of course, saw nothing.
Later in the day when I heard that Mount St. Helens had erupted, I was amazed that a sound of that magnitude could be heard all the way to Bellingham and inside my apartment, even to the point of shaking my door.
I have visited the mountain many times since the explosion – hiked to the top as well as hiking some of the trails on all sides – and am still amazed at the tremendous destruction and reshaping of the landscape the explosion caused.