Thursday, August 9, 2007

On top of a mountain

I'm back! After being away for 10 days, I'm ready to buckle down and study for comps, which start in (eek!) a week.

The vacation started with friends in the Seattle area. We spent a day bumming around, and the next day we drove down to Mount Saint Helens. We drove in via the road that heads east to the north side of the mountain. When the volcano erupted in 1980, everything flowed down the north side, so from the observatory we stopped at there was a good view inside the volcano. Then we headed around to the south side of the mountain to camp out at Climber's Bivouac. This primitive campsite is right at the base of the typical route up Mount Saint Helens.

On Thursday we set out to climb the mountain. The first two miles are easy, through gentle forest, but after that you hit a boulder field. Eventually, the boulder field ends - about the time the oxygen gets thinner. But you start to wish the field was back because what's next is a loose slope of ash. Once you reach the top, though, and look down into the caldera, it's pretty cool.

After Mount Saint Helens, my parents picked me up and we spent a brief time in the vicinity of Hood River. Then we headed up to Sequim to visit my aunt and uncle. I'll post more about this in the next couple of days, in between trying to staying focused on comps.

No comments: