The Big Boom - Oregon Coast Visitors Association

The Big Boom

Posted by Denise Hardy / November 11, 2009

This is a wonderful, memorable story in an odd sort of way. In May of 1980 my huband, then 5 year old son, and I were on vacation, and going down the Oregon coast for the first time. I had looked forward to this vacation for a very long time, as my husband had camped on the Oregon coast as a child and was filled with nothing but wonderful memories. After a long day of exploring Cannon Beach and Ecola State Park, we finally settled into a quaint little motel just south of Cannon Beach, tired from the days activities and fresh ocean air. We ate dinner in our room, watched a little TV and were settled in bed by 10:00.

We had a good nights sleep, and were awakened about 8:30 in the morning by a huge boom. We had no idea what it was, and even wondered if maybe there was a military base nearby and they were playing war games. Not thinking much more about it, we proceeded to eat breakfast, pack up the car, and continue south on our way down the Oregon coast. We had an absolutely wonderful day with stops at Oswald West State Park, Neahkanie Mt. and view point, Rockaway Beach, Tillamook (loved the cheese factory), and finally our destination for the night, Lincoln City.

We had had a fun day and it wasn’t until we turned the TV on that night that we learned that Mt. St. Helens had erupted that morning. Then it dawned on us that the eruption was the huge boom that we had heard that morning from our motel room in Cannon Beach. We were amazed at the fact that we could hear it from that distance. I don’t know just how far we were from Mt. St. Helens, but the knowledge that we had heard it left us in awe at the power of nature.

We continued our vacation south on the Oregon coast to northern CA. and had one of the best vacations I can remember. Even if we hadn’t had such a great time, and we did, I will never forget the day Mt. St. Helens blew her top and the gorgeous place we were when she did!

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Comments on this story:

  1. Mona Lee Vollmer says:

    I am Denise’s mother. I knew she and her family were headed for the Oregon coast, but didn’t know where they were when the mountain erupted . It was a long day of worrying, until they called me.

    posted November 11, 2009 at 3:31 pm
  2. Karen Eaton says:

    When you are looking at memorable days, this would definitely stand out. What a lot of activities in a short time and all because of the beautiful Oregon coast. No wonder it is a special memory especially when the volcano erupted at that time.

    posted November 11, 2009 at 3:50 pm
  3. Susan Kirkpatrick says:

    OMG. Had no idea where this was going until the last paragraph. Excellent

    posted November 11, 2009 at 6:27 pm
  4. Lona Hamilton says:

    What a great story – I have lots of fond memories of the oregon coast especially my mother and father in law arranging to have flowers and wine delivered to my honeymoon room.

    posted November 11, 2009 at 11:52 pm
  5. Cecelia Weiss says:

    I remember that day also. I was getting ready for church when it happened. I was in Everett WA at the time.

    posted November 12, 2009 at 2:01 pm
  6. John Hamilton says:

    I think that this is a very interesting story. I too heard the explosion on my way to church.

    posted November 22, 2009 at 7:25 pm
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