Ask any Cascadian that was alive in 1980 where they were on May 18th, and they can likely relay every detail of their day similar to how most Americans know exactly what they were doing November 22, 1963, July 20th, 1969 and September 11th, 2001. I vividly remember my mom showing us on TV why we couldn't go out and play in what looked to me like fog. With tears in my eyes, I asked "so, my mountain is just gone?" After all, Mount St. Helens was my favorite Cascade mountain. I loved boat rides in Spirit Lake, hiking through the wild flower filled meadows and camping in the fragrant evergreen forests surrounding the elegant glacier covered dome of the volcano. With ash billowing from where my mountain once was on the TV behind her, my mom tearily told me that yes, all that was gone. We sobbed.
Like most Cascadians, I have grown to love the new Mount St. Helens and have enjoyed watching the renewal of the mountain's ecosystem. It is this love for our unique region and binding memories of huge moments for Cascadia and that unites residents of the Pacific Northwest or the bio region, Cascadia. And such unity is one reason that the man who named our bio region, David McClosky, declared May 18th Cascadia Day.
Happy Cascadia Day!