Ever since I was ill in April, I’ve fallen off my pleasure reading list. I doubt if I’ll catch up those three months missed, but I’ll get started again with July.
My book is “Echoes of Fury” by Frank Parchman. (An amusing note: The cover photo is NOT the eruption of Mt. Saint Helens!)
The book is the account of the volcano and a few of the lives it changed forever. Parchman does an excellent job of explaining volcanoes, especially Saint Helens, in an informative yet easy to understand way. He briefly goes over the history of Saint Helens, and then starts introducing you to the people of the book in the days before the eruption.
As I started the book, I had worried that it was become confusing with so many people in the story lines. Each person’s experience is woven together like a master tapestry. Their lives before, during, and after the eruption. There are a few photos to give you reference and a face to bring to mind as you read.
Also told are the stories of the rescues and the governmental chaos & cover-ups that followed. To say I was shocked at the way WA State treated the victims would be an understatement. Wow.
I chose this book because I remember so well that day in 1980 when it erupted. On a trip to Seattle in 2008, Himself and I made a day trip down to Mt. Saint Helens. I wanted to see the mountain for myself. Miles and miles before you could even see the mountain, you could see the ash laden riverbanks. Along the road are markers telling how high the river overflowed at this point… or that you were entering the blast zone… or that you were now entering the kill zone.
Then a bit farther down the road you get your first glimpse of Mt. Saint Helens.
Oh my goodness.
My art is two of the many photos I took that day. I digitally altered them, first using the “pencil sketch” option, then a few other edits to sharpen the image. The first image shows the waste land around the base of the volcano. Twenty eight years and the slopes are still lunar in appearance. The second image is a close up of the blown away wall. You can see a puff of steam rising from the center. For perspective, remember that Mt. Saint Helens used to be called the “Mt Fuji of America” because of its perfect cone shape.
I can recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in Mt Saint Helens. And if you are planning on visiting the site I would definitely say to read this before you go.
You’ll look around with different eyes…