After the big fishing trip, we spent the night in Westport again, eating more chowder from the One Eyed Crab (and, could there be a better name for a seafood resturant than the One Eyed Crab???). I was pretty tired and spent most of the night coma'd on the couch.
We carried on our way to Mt. St. Helens, my favorite of all volcanos. In my excitement, I slammed the car door on my thumb. I waited for the pain and realised, yes there was pain and yes there was blood. More blood than I had seen in a long time. I surpised myself by not a)swearing like a shearer/trucker and b) being calm enough to tell my mother where my first aid kit was and what bandages to use (which was pointless because she is, of course, a nurse practioner). The rest of the trip was spent with my thumb encased in a gigantic bandage.
We arrived at the mountain, walked around for an hour or so, lost dad completely (no suprise there) and then began, what I like to call, the "Strange Loop akin to that Star Trek episode that one time that I can't ever remember the title of). So we go down the highway, make one turn and promptely return the way we came. And then we tried a different route...which took us again to the mountain. It took about four attempts to actually leave Mt. St. Helens...after much cursing...
We drove through White Pass, a place I hadn't spent much time at but wouldn't mind having a strange loop expierence in.
As trees gave way to sloping, dry hills, a sense of calm washed over me. The desert is a barren place, void of green but it is strangely serene. For the last nine years I have never really looked at my home with anything but comparring the beauty surrounding me in New Zealand and found it wanting. But now, I find the hills, which always looked liked dinosaurs lying on their sides, comforting to me. I forgot how I missed the long shadows in the evening, the warm nights, the sunsets. The big sky, with nothing blocking the views. The dry thunderstorms.
I thought about the strange loops. Almost nine years ago to the day, I travelled to New Zealand for the first time and despite my assertation that I was only there for "six weeks", I left many years later. Life takes us on strange loops that return back to where we started.
But finally I can see this place with very different, kinder eyes than before.