This Used to be Goodbye

A view of Mount St. Helens near sunset

It used to be when I left the River S Unit at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge and started my trek home, I’d round the bend and get this lovely view of Mount St. Helens. Early in 2004 I stopped to take a picture of the volcano with the foothills coated in snow, as they were just starting to convert a meadow into a subdivision and I knew the view wouldn’t last.

A large number of new subdivisions have gone in since as the sleepy little town transforms into a bedroom community for Vancouver and Portland. I’ve often thought about how wonderful it would be to live in one of those houses, to be able to roll out of bed near sunrise and be right at the refuge, but I wouldn’t seriously consider moving there — the refuge is on the other side of the Columbia from where I work and the commute would be soul-crushing.

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