Mount St. Helens has erupted again. Don't worry, you'll be hearing more than you care to know about it soon enough. When you're watching the live coverage on the news tomorrow with the reporter standing in front of the mountain, you may wonder what it looks like behind the scenes. For a taste, here's a panorama I took of the Media Circus that followed the minor burp last October:
It's kind of hard to see in the scaled down version, but there was a reporter doing a shoot at the time. Here's a close up:
Anyway, the Media was segregated in a lot a few miles away from Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center (the closest, then-open facility to the mountain,) so they wouldn't pester the Normals. A few Media People did manage to escape the paddock and sneak their way to the visitor center though, as I was approached there by a roving reporter from some Canadian radio network soliciting human interest soundbites with a tape recorder. He seemed slightly disappointed when I declined to comment, but luckily the person next to me was chomping at the bit to tell Canadians all about his life-long love of volcanology.
Given the larger scale of the newest eruption, the Media Circus will probably be much larger this time. Then again, since it was only five months since the Media last visited, and especially since nothing blew up when they were there, the novelty may still be worn off. We'll see.