I first saw the crater in 1987. I camped on the eastern flank and hiked around to the gaping hole on the northern side. In 1991 I hiked to the summit on the south side and gazed down into the abyss at the steaming dome of lava below. The next year I made an illegal hike to the base of the breach on the north side and stood eye to eye with the lava dome. I had soooooo wanted to go and touch it, but I was stopped by a 50' gully. I remember my heart pounding as I stood there with unstable rock falling all around me, realizing that without much warning that whole lava dome could explode. Even a small steam eruption could have sent a baseball-sized rock screaming toward my head. I just had to be there, feeling the intense energy radiating from the volcano.
Will we see another eruption like that in the continental US in my lifetime? Shasta? Rainier? Mammoth Lakes? As a geologist, I can hope.