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.
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!
Heading eastbound out of Portland, your eyes will either be fixed on 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.
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. Loved this post? Share it!
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.
Monitor Ridge – Part 2
Three steps. Two. One. Suddenly, Mount St. Helens’ summit 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.
The landscape around Mount St. Helens is just packed with trails waiting to be explored. I’m certain I just need to move up to Washington for six months so that I can get my boots on every single one! My partners in crime and I had made it to the Johnston Ridge Observatory on the first leg of our trip. Spying the Boundary Trail running right past the Observatory, it was only logical that we grab our bags and set out on a hike. A short 6-miler sounded like the perfect warmup for the summit attempt we would be making in two days. All geared up, we struck out on Mount St. Helens’ Boundary Trail east toward Harry’s Ridge.
The Pacific Northwest has a vibe all of its own. Trendy metropolitan cities, pulsing with their own energy. Thick forests of vibrant green and field strewn with wildflowers. Crashing ocean waves. And magnificent volcanoes that command the attention of the entire landscape.
The Cascade Arc is home to 20 very big and badass volcanoes, most of which are composite volcanoes, and over 3,000 smaller vents. Volcanic fields dot the landscape of the Pacific Northwest and have made it what it is today.