Did you say volcano? Yes I did!

Today was another long one, with a trip to see one of America’s and indeed the world’s, famous volcanos.
Mt St Helens.
The drive there took us through some of the most beautiful countryside I’ve seen in a long time, and the changing colours of Autumn made it even more spectacular. The colours here are so much richer and vibrant than we have at home in Australia, or at least where I live, and are just magical to look at.
As we climbed in elevation the scenery changed to that of desolation and devastation but one coming back full of re growth and life.
Each time we stopped for photos the air was a few degrees cooler, and become increasingly sharper as we approached the end of our drive.
We were talking about the valley below, and a waterfall across the valley when I saw peeking through the clouds my first glimpse of the iconic mountain. To say my reaction was excited is putting it mildly. I was like a kid in a candy shop. Check it out, although there is not much to see, it blew my mind. To be right there, to see something so majestic and is the best feeling.
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From that point, around each corner almost was another view, another chance to see the mountain, covered in snow, and looking resplendent.
Right at the end of the road was Windy Ridge Lookout which I climbed while my friends stayed in the car (they had done this before) and it was cold. Like biting winds that went right through you and put colour in your cheeks, freezing your fingers.
By the time I got back to the car park my head was spinning from the altitude (and excitement) and my throat was sore from the cold air, but four layers and a thick scarf meant I was toasty warm otherwise. The wind was strong enough to notice. but not so I had to brace myself against it.
Let me tell you, there is nothing like the biting cold and being in such a place to make you really feel alive. The grin on my face at the top was the result. I was in heaven.
And I got there right in time. As I was finishing taking my pictures, the cloud came in low, smothering the mountain.

So much has happened since Sedona, Az.

It’s been 3 days since I left Arizona and my last post here, but it feels like a lifetime already. We spent a lot of time in Seattle – a beautiful city I could imagine myself living in. After a lovely seafood lunch right on the water, a visit to the Space Needle was a must (actually, that was my idea, I really wanted to visit) and the view was amazing, the city was green and an eclectic mix of old and new.

Monday us girls went and did some retail therapy – you will see the results of that one day when I get home. And today, Tuesday, us girls went on a road trip up the gorge and checked out some of the most amazing scenery and waterfalls ever. Parts of the trip reminded me of home, which is not surprising. Oregon is about the same latitude as Tassie. It’s kind of a same same but different scenario.

Here are a few pictures of what’s been happening, and hopefully I’ll be able to post again soon.

My last day in Arizona

It’s that time again. Packing the bags ready to board another plane and head north west to Seattle, Washington. The laundry is done, photos cleared from the camera onto USB for organisation purposes, postcards posted and journal open for writing. I have a lot to put down – the last 3 days. Grand Canyon trip, Sedona and today’s Sunrise Trailhead hike or as I like to say Cactus Hill.
The hike may only be 2 miles or just over 4k but it is such a good workout, some flat spots, some good climbing and steep areas. But the view you get from the top is totally worth it. You feel like you’re on top of the world.
I saved all my picture taking for the trip down so I could concentrate of the job at hand, seeing as it takes an hour, and we weren’t walking overly slowly.

After lunch we went into town and did some shopping, where I picked up some cool little souvenirs and then picking up the best hamburgers for dinner.
I am now obsessed with cactus and have my own little glass family of them to bring home. I love cactus!!
After dinner we took a walk to see the sunset which was incredible. The desert certainly knows how to do a sunset. Unfortunately I haven’t got any handy to prove exactly how good it was. Another day for sure.
And I’m including a picture of what kept me going on the trip back from the GC on Thursday, so I didn’t fall asleep in the car. Caffeine and chocolate!

I have an early flight and by lunch time will be with in Seattle ready for the next instalment.

Sedona, Az

Today’s trip was only a 2 hr drive north, this time to Sedona. Deciding to take a different route in we were up for a surprise or two. The good part, we saw views of this amazing place that you just don’t get to when coming in directly off the highway but the bad part. The road said 12 miles of rough. That was the longest 12 miles when it was more like a 4WD track, and while the car had just enough height, 4WD it is not.
We came and we conquered Schnebly Hill!
We stopped at all the places we wanted to on the trip down the mountain collecting many gorgeous photos.
Even though the clouds were out this morning, they were soon gone and had a beautiful blue sky to contrast with the red/orange rock and the lunch greenery.

Just a note.
I have been so busy, and taken so many pictures but they will all need a proper sort out and dealing with. I have a travel journal I am writing in to keep all my thoughts, postcards and other travel paraphernalia in and so I can empty my head of what I’ve done each day.
These short posts will be extended on at a later date maybe, or extra pictures simply put up on my photo blog.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I am loving being here and taking them.

Grand Canyon day trip

Ok, so this will be a super quick post as I am seriously tired, having had barely 10hrs sleep since I left Sydney.
We took a trip to the Grand Canyon today – if you haven’t been you really have to make the time to get there.
In a few words, because I cannot even begin to describe it in much less than a dictionary’s worth.
Wow. Beautiful. Incredible. Breath takingingly amazing.
At every turn there was a new vista to see, a new angle on the scene before you. As the day wore on, and the sun moved, the play of shadows on the rocks was just stunning.

And then the sunset as we were coming home. It was like fire in the trees.