Living in the stunningly beautiful Pacific Northwest, I am surrounded by nature, which to me is all earth in its glory. There are also quite a few ancient volcanos sticking out from the mountain ranges. Mount Baker, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens to just name a few. Volcanoes to me represent earth in it’s rawest state. I had the immense fortune to climb up a volcano down in Mexico back in 2013 and it has been one of my most profound experiences to date. Standing on the rim of that natural wonder and looking around I made the resolution that I really needed to get out of the big city.
I stuck to it and one year later moved up the coast to an island in the Salish Sea that immediately captured my heart, just like that volcano did a year earlier. Whenever I go hiking on the island and I see Mount Baker, or Koma Kulshan as the Natives call it, I am reminded of that life-changing hike through the lava field and up the side of a scoria-cone volcano called Parícutin, in the beautiful state of Michoacan, Mexico.
The lava field we crossed to get to the volcano. It was treacherous and took us over an hour. Looking at those jagged lava pieces reminded me how fragile earth really is. Parîcutin rose out of a field in 1943 and erupted, burying land and a small town with its fiery lava flow.
We finally made it up to the rim of the crater. The earth felt hot to the touch and there was steam coming out in several places. The rain clouds that had followed us finally caught up with us and we got stuck in a downpour.
This is the moment that changed my life. The clouds lifted the sun broke through and a beautiful rainbow appeared on the other side of the rim. The beauty of it touched me so deep it would cause me to make a big change in my life and live the city behind a year later. I still get emotional looking at this picture.
We had made it back down (slipping and sliding down the path visible on the right side of the cone). We were dripping wet, exhausted but exhilarated at the same time. This is Parícutin in all its glory. An unforgettable experience!