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Morning Adventure

Klamath National Forest, Calif.

Morning Adventure

Mother Nature's beauty and power

While camped at the bottom of Mount Shasta in Northern California, I woke up early to capture sunrise on a cold spring morning. As the sun began to rise, a fresh cup of coffee was brewing on the stove. The sounds of songbirds and the distant whistle of a train horn filled the gentle morning breeze with a joyful serenade.

I set up my camera in the middle of the dirt road where I camped nearby and waited for the perfect moment. Light began to illuminate the thin clouds over the mountain. In just moments, sunlight hit the highest peak as it crested the horizon. In what seemed like hours but only minutes, light began to fall on the glaciers, peaks, and valleys of the volcano.

At this moment I was at peace.

Unfortunately, later that year in a very hot and dry summer. A thunderstorm rolled over the mountain. Lightning struck a high-altitude pine tree just below the tree line and the Lava Fire was born. The wildfire raged on the mountain and burned for several weeks. Severe damage was done to the forest, wilderness, trails, and historic railroad architecture.

The Lava Fire burned through this location eliminating the natural green beauty of the valley. Where just a few short weeks earlier, I stood in awe of the majesty of Mother Nature. Before she reminded us of who truly is in charge.

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