KVAL News asked: Where were you on May 18, 1980? This story is based in part of responses posted to the KVAL News Facebook page.
EUGENE, Ore. - Some heard the boom.
Others heard about it on the news.
And then there was the ash: everywhere, on everything.
"I was driving a truck heading west into Washington," Karen D Bumgarner recalled of May 18, 1980, when Mount St. Helens erupted. "Had to turn around and get to where I could head south to circle around from central Oregon. Ash was clogging the breather!"
"I was bowling the Nationals in Seattle," Margaret Cress Hampton said, "and we drove back through thick ash back home to Coquille."
Rob Anderson was in Everett, Wash.
"I was 4 years old," he recalled. "I don't remember much but I remember the adults being upset that there was ash on everything (especially the cars) and that it was dark a lot during that time."
"First saw it while sitting in the back of the car while my parents drove to visit friends in Gladstone," Martin Fisher said. "Looked like the whole northern horizon had exploded and there was just a giant wall of ash that filled the sky. Later we got home to Gresham and, because we lived on a hill, had a perfectly unobstructed view. It looked like an atom bomb that just never quit exploding. I've still got jars of the ash (must've been 2-3 inches thick)."
Kristi Snow was "in Prosser, Wash., playing outside until we realized that we had ash falling on us!"
"I went golfing on the beautiful Walla Walla, Wash., golf course," Debra Stemmer said. "We had to get off the course as the clouds from Mt. St. Helens came over the course. I went home and filled up the tub with water just in case."
You didn't have to be in Washington state, either.
"Here in Sutherlin Oregon, I remember the ash covering the cars," Loretta Quinney said, "and it being a problem for the cars motors.
"I was living in Sam's Valley (near Medford) and was in 7th grade. I was outside and I recall stopping and wondering what was going on," Robyn Hine said. "I didn't really hear anything, consciously; it was more that I felt something weird was going on. Later, I remember the ash falling like snow. We didn't get a lot of ash, but it was interesting to get as much as we did, so far away."
Gene Corso was in Santa Cruz, Calif., and the blast made fantastically beautiful sunsets for a long time and ash actually came down on us for a long time, too."
I think I was at home when it erupted, cause I do remember walking outside of my house and seeing an orange sky. The air was kind if thick and ashy. I asked my dad what was wrong with the sky, as he was outside too, and he said that Mount St. Helen's exploded," Morgan Cole said. "As we were in Santa Rosa, Calif., then I remember worrying about the volcano that you could see from my house. I was about 7 years old then. I have had a fear of volcanos since."
Patty Carte was "iving in Ogden, Utah. Believe it or not we had ash there. Covered the windshields of our cars and could be seen in the lawn!"
The mountain continued to erupt off and on through October 1980.
In June, Judith Salyer recall being "at a Grateful Dead Concert. They played 'Fire On The Mountain' when we got the news...it was awesome."
But Krista St. Clair can be sure about where she was on May 18, 1980.
"I was born on this very day, 32 years ago!" she said.