Up and away!

Up and away! On Sunday, my love & I drove over the Oregon boundary, and away we sped into Washington. We thought we would do some investigating, we haven't spent much time in that adjacent state. In the past year we've been to Washington only twice, both in Vancouver. In my mind that doesn't really count, since its just a little hop, skip and jump from Portland. So you can see we were a teensy bit curious. This past Winter, I visited with my parents' neighbor about her trip to Mount St. Helens. She had loads of gorgeous saturated photos that she had snapped. After flipping through her photo album, I mentally wrote this mountain on my west coast visit list.

We drove northbound on I-5 to Woodland, where we grabbed some Mount St. Helens info and chit-chatted a bit with a kind lady at the tourist info hotspot. She suggested to go further north, continuing on the interstate, and then exit near Castle Rock. Apparently it's more scenic than the other route. She was right, it was amazingly scenic. We stopped by Salt Lake Visitors Center and got down with our nerdy tourist selves. We learned about the forces and events leading up to the eruption back in 1980 through various exhibits, including a walk-in volcano model. It sounds pretty fun but, to be honest, the little kid in me was a little disappointed.

The weather was perfect, rays of sunshine danced through the tree limbs. I was reminded of how swell it is to have a moonroof. We saw waterfalls, we saw many bad ass motorcyclists, we saw an unbelievable amount of trees, and we saw expansive views from many viewpoints along the way. We decided that next time we have to do the cheesy tourist helicopter ride. I can only imagine all the amazing views of the blast zone we'd have.

We brought all three cameras, the Lomo, Rebel, and PowerShot to capture e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g... including Coldwater Lake.

Magnitude of Tranquility - Coldwater Lake

Magnitude of Tranquility - Mount St. Helens Coldwater Lake was ultimately my highlight of our trip. It was tucked away below the national volcanic monument. Photography has always been a love of mine. There's just something about capturing time and nature, I like to think I'm capturing the wind blowing and the solitary feeling of the mountains and lake. The water was beautiful shades of turquoise. I immediately wanted to dip my hand into it, but I held back thinking that it was probably chilly, for the mountains were covered in marshmallow-like snow. After walking barefoot on the dock, talking with my love, and getting pretty comfortable with the overall temperature in the air, I dipped my hands in. I was then reminded of why I was so cautious in the beginning. The COLD sent shivers up my spine. I wanted to lay out there beside my love and read for hours, but the day was coming to an end and we had to head back into Oregon.

The lovely photography pieces above are up for sale in my Etsy shop. I'm going to sell the two together as a package, because... well I love them both and couldn't narrow it down to just one! They will be mailed in shiny protective cello envelopes, backed with matte board & enclosed in a sturdy bend-proof mailer. Their price is pretty inexpensive, just $18. Hop on over to my shop: www.atealeaf.etsy.com

I hope you Portlanders out there are enjoying the sunshine as much as I am!