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 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.