Top 10 Volcanic Eruptions of 2019

Sinabung Eruption

2019 was a dynamic year in many aspects, and the volcanic world did not disappoint.  According to the Global Volcanism Program, “There were 73 confirmed eruptions at some point during 2019 from 70 different volcanoes; 30 of those were new eruptions that started during the year.”[1]

The earth is always alive with volcanic activity, and an average of 10-20 volcanoes are active and erupting at any given time on our planet.  But who were the show stoppers for 2019? 

 Here are the top 10 volcanic eruptions that left their mark on 2019:

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Merry Christmas from Base Camp

Merry Christmas

It’s Christmas time at Base Camp!  The tree is glittering with a hundred sparkling lights, and ornaments that we’ve collected over the years dangle from the branches.  It’s been re-decorated, of course, by two kitties who love to tug on the gold garland and bat the ornaments around like toys.  A few presents are wrapped under the tree.  Niala loves to wiggle between them and curl up for a nap under the colorful lights.  The smell of baking pies and cookies fills the house with a cozy aroma and a fire is crackling in the fireplace.  I love the way a wood fire smells – it reminds me of the scent of flowing lava.  Snuggled up in a fluffy blanket, I’m taking a moment to reflect on this year, and the holiday season at hand.

Last January, I told a friend of mine that it felt as if I were a stone being loaded into a slingshot and that 2019 would be a wild ride.  What a year it has been!  As with every year, there have been moments of joy and of heartbreak.  We have worked hard to accomplish goals and overcome obstacles.  I think of the countless hours I spent training to recover from my knee injury last year.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?  I’m thankful for my coach who kept me on the ball and knew just what to do to get me back in shape. We’ve had the opportunity to explore several new volcanoes and celebrated the success of reaching Mount St. Helens’ summit in August.  We have met new and incredible friends through our journeys this year.  

I have enjoyed spending more time writing this year – sharing our adventures with you here on our blog and on our social media pages.  Getting to chat with some of you and swap stories has been a wonderful experience.  I am excited to see what 2020 brings.  I am certain that it will be a year full of adventures, new volcanoes, and exciting changes.  I look forward to sharing it all with you.

I wish a very happy Christmas to you and your families.  I pray that wherever you find yourself this holiday season, that you will find joy and peace in your lives.  May your New Year be full of happy surprises and wonderful adventures.  

Merry Christmas and Happy Hopping,

A Volcano’s Plea

Listen when I speak to you!
I wish to do you no harm.
Your bodies are small and fragile.
Pay attention when I sound the alarm.

I do not mind you exploring my slopes;
I even enjoy your laughs.
Humans are so fascinating
When they tread my lava paths.

A volcano must do as we are created for;
To follow our calling, you might say.
When the time comes for us to erupt, 
You must stay far away.

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5 Reasons to be Thankful for Volcanoes

Last week, we celebrated Thanksgiving here in the United States.  For many, it is a time to reflect on all of the things that we are thankful for in our lives, and the many blessings that we have.  No matter what the season is in one’s life, there are countless things to be thankful for and it would take far more than a single day to count them all.  How many of you added volcanoes to your list of things to be thankful for?  Here are 5 reasons we should all be thankful for the volcanoes that (literally) rock our world.  

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Haystack Rock

The Pacific Ocean is absolutely magical.  One never knows what they’ll discover on its shores or in its rich blue depths.  There is something about the steady crash of the waves against the shore that relaxes and envigorates the soul.  Our Base Camp is nowhere near the ocean, or any significant source of water, so we made tracks for the beach while we were in Oregon this summer.  We didn’t choose just any beach, however. We chose Cannon Beach, Oregon for sentimental reasons and ended up finding a volcanic treasure: Haystack Rock.

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The Not-so-Boring Volcanic Field

Put that yawn away! The Boring Volcanic Field is far more exciting than it sounds!  Where and what is this Boring Volcanic Field, and who gave it such an unexciting name? Buckle up – let’s go investigate!

If you’re heading eastbound out of Portland, your eyes are likely to either be fixed on the traffic or on magnificent Mount Hood.  Standing at 11,250’ above sea level, the stratovolcano certainly dominates the landscape.  If you’re kicking back in the passenger seat, you’ll notice the enormous hills that just out of the landscape like molehills.  

As you turn up Highway 26 toward Mount Hood, you’ll soon find yourself driving through the tiny town of Boring, Oregon.   

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Fearless Footsteps

I am super excited to announce that Intrepid Times and Exisle Publishing are releasing an amazing anthology called “Fearless Footsteps” next year – and that our story about climbing Mount St. Helens will be featured in it!

Copyright © 2019 Volcano Hopper. All rights reserved.

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Mount Hood

Wy’east has a secret. He loves the sunrise.

Before the sun even rose, I felt the stirring.  I lifted my head from the soft pillow and looked out the window.  Outside of our log cabin at the base of Mount Hood, the sky was turning purple behind the thick cluster of trees. Streaks of pink began to tint the clouds, then orange strands began to glow.  But there was something else in the air that morning that I’d never quite felt before during a sunrise.  It was like the quivering excitement you felt as a kid on Christmas morning. It grows and grows until you burst from your bed and race downstairs to see the presents under the tree.  

I snuggled under the thick down comforter as I watched the sunrise.  The excitement thickened in the air like static electricity. Jason was fast asleep next to me. And I hadn’t heard a peep from downstairs.  Even the birds had barely begun to chirp.  The only one up was the volcano.

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Thursday Thoughts – Climbing Mount St. Helens

Climbing Mount St. Helens was one of the most difficult, and most rewarding, hikes I have ever done. There is nothing quite like the thrill of reaching the top of an active volcano!

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Mount St. Helens: Sweet Summit Success!

Monitor Ridge – Part 2

Three steps. Two.  One.  Suddenly, Mount St. Helens’ crater stretched wide open in front of me.  The rim of the crater curved around to the north like eagles’ wings.  An enormous lava dome that dwarfed everything around it sat perched in the heart of the mile-wide crater.  The lava dome itself sat steaming happily away, tendrils of the white steam curling up toward us.  The sharp scent of sulfur – like rotten eggs – made my nose sting.  

We had made it!  I clung to my husband, brother, and sister as we cried victorious tears.  Jason, Paul, and Alex had each been overwhelmingly patient and kind to me on that hike. Twenty-four hours before, none of us imagined we’d be standing there together.  But there we were!  Successful because of each other’s patience, love for each other and for the volcano, and because of God’s grace.

Panorama of Mount St. Helens’ summit crater. Photo Credit: Volcano Hopper
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