Mount St. Helens
I was recently reminded of visiting Mount St. Helens some years ago, and with that remembered this picture. I was just getting started in VR photography, and didn’t have any gear with me. In fact, this was pre-DSLR, so it was taken free-hand with a point-and-shoot camera. Even so, it didn’t come out so bad, even if only a cylindrical shot.
I remember when visiting down below, we listened to a presentation by the ranger while standing outside admiring the view. As he talked about the fact that there was no real danger anymore, a large plume of smoke suddenly appeared in the crater. He stopped in mid-sentence and stared intently at the crater. I remember thinking “So… should we sprint for the building?”. After a few moments, he resumed talking and explained that most likely a large landfall had caused an ash “avalanche” in the crater. When we went in later, the seismographs showed that a small tremor had occurred, probably causing the slide. What fun!
We’d like to go back there some day, it’s one of those places definitely worth more than one visit. There are multiple visitor centers, and some of the viewpoints along the drive to the volcano really highlight the extent of damage.
It’s really amazing to see how much the landscape was changed in just a few moments. The power displayed here is reminiscent of the psalmist’s picture: “The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth.” Just to think of such a Presence incarnating as a lowly man, blows my mind. Not only becoming human, but identifying with our pain and struggles even to the point of dying. Then defeating death, going through that whole process out of love for us, is both humbling and awe-inspiring.