I almost didn’t make it up to this Mount St. Helens viewpoint. I thought that I could use the closer gas station, but it was roped off and closed. I made it, but not without slight panic and anxious sweats—I still had to make it back down in the morning.
Once I got to the spot where I wanted to shoot and allowed my eyes to adjust to the darkness, the stress melted away. I still cannot fathom what it must have been like seeing this gorgeous volcano erupt, destroying so much without pause. Standing here watching the Milky Way erupt out of her crater felt beautifully and painfully symbolic, giving me a little glimpse into what it must have looked like almost exactly 38 years ago.