Life Returns Through the Ash by Lowell Wagner Jr. - Fantastic Plastic! by Dan Taylor - A Quarter Million Mile Shadow by Robert Taylor - Sweden: Where Old and New Meet by Tom Delamater: It was 8:29 on a clear spring morning. Birds chirped in the fir trees overhead. Elk and deer grazed on new spring grass in a meadow nearby. Reflected in the glassy, blue surface of Spirit Lake, the mountain added a final touch or majesty and serenity. But at 8:30 the mountain exploded, hurtling nearly 1,400 feet (427 meters) of Mt. St. Helens' summit 12 miles (19 kilometers) into the sky. The hot rock, ash and gas, traveling at hurricane speeds, leveled vast areas of surrounding forest, leaving a lifeless, black-and-gray world. Looking at the devastation, it was hard for anyone to imagine a time when things would return to normal.
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