Ring of Fire : Climbing Mt. St. Helens

By Candace Dempsey, author of Murder In Italy, the true story of Amanda Knox

Do you remember where you were when Mt. St. Helens erupted in 1980, with a force 20,000 times stronger than the Hiroshima bomb? I was holed up in Seattle, on the Pacific Ring of Fire, when Washington's deadliest volcano went off, after playing nice for 120 years. The winds blew east instead of north, covering much of Washington with ash and darkening the sky at midday, Seattle was unscathed, but 27 people died in southwest Washington, when they got too close.

In August 2014, I'll live out a longtime dream. I'll be climbing this 14,140 peak with my sister--our first ever big-time adventure together. More than 4,000 feet in five miles. Permits went on sale yesterday (Feb. 3) and are nearly gone. Try to buy the $22 permit in summer, when visibility is high and you can see the summit. Weekends are much busier than mid-week, so plan accordingly. See you at the top. Watch the video. Get inspired.