On the road northwards again, this is the route we travelled southwards under grey skies a week ago. (A long drive)Today there is not a cloud in the sky, temperatures are rising rapidly and visibility is clear. As we approach Portland we draw closer to the Cascade range of mountains. These far distant snow capped volcanic peaks appear to float above layered grey misty foothills. The startlingly large snow streaked volcanic cone of Mount Hood rises from the plain as we speed along the high way, through Portland and over the Columbia river.
Next into view comes Mount St Helen’s, another huge volcano. But this is a mountain with its head blown off. It was over thirty years ago that it erupted, and as we drive up the winding road through miles of trees to the visitor centre it becomes clear that it has lost its pointed cone. We contemplate the huge hidden forces which caused such catastrophic damage as we sit on the terrace drinking lemonade and eating appropriately named lava cake.