Sunday, September 6, 2015
Heading east from Randle, Washington we set out in search of breakfast and twisty roads. The day before, our quest complete with a six-mile left and right dance snaking up to Mount St. Helens. The grin on his face after told the whole story. Hugging craggy cliffs and sometimes negotiating uneven tarmac, we felt the eery yet sacredness of the area. The volcano eruption in May of 1980 decimated more than 160 miles of roads, hundreds of homes, countless wildlife and 57 lives. Winding up to the viewpoint was somber after our encounter with a local who had been fishing on Spirit Lake when the mountain gave way. He described the quiet as surreal and later learned that people heard the thunderous roar over 100 miles away. Yet he was on a lake that reflected the mountain, heard nothing. What he saw was incredulous and apocalyptic. Day became as night with ash clouding everything. Reading the accounts and seeing the mountain brought a new sense of gratitude for nature and its power. We need that levelling sometimes. Something to remind us that we are not always in control. It is humbling yet refreshing to recognize our vulnerability. So leaving Randle the cool of the morning is refreshing riding through mere mist.