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.
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.