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May 18, 2012


larry kurtz

From the hang glider launch on Mt. Sentinel: the wind was dead all day and we passed time kicking the hacky sack.

Late in the day a massive cloud filled the western horizon so everybody but me, the driver that day, punched off to beat the weather.

By the time I got off the mountain and back to the LZ, the golf course, the sky was so dark the street lights were coming on.

Not having thought to turn on a radio, I was totally freaked when ash began falling from the sky. Only after running back to the pickup and turning on the news did I learn.

The next week in Missoula was spent inside with the windows duct-taped shut and not being able to see the sun or even across the street, for that matter. An emergency executive dictat from the governor shut the town down.

Stores ran low on essentials and going outside meant stinging eyes and sand gritting in your teeth.

Thanks for the flashback, Rob: the anniversary likely would have missed me.


I was actually living here in Dillon when the Top blew off as well. Rob do you remember the sunset for days with greenish streaks in it.

I also remember wiping the cars down and saving the ash. Mailing little packets of it back to my friends and telling them in the letters that pieces of Washington were in the air here in Montana.

I pretty much walked( with a scarf over my nose and Mouth) everywhere for days, as I was afraid of my car inhaling ash and dying. The BLM I was working for then, keep us all inside and out of the field for a week. Good thing we didn't have any fires that year!

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