September 9th – 4.4 Miles, Including A Volcanic View

The desert exploring continued when I went out with my friend and her daughter to find blackberries. We never found the berries, but we did get a nice view of a volcano. This part of Southern Utah is very interesting to me. There are places of flat desert, canyons of red stone, and fields of volcanic rock where the lava once flowed. That lava had to come from somewhere, so there are also some volcanoes.

Check it out.


This is my friend Kristin and her kiddo. Neither of us is a stranger to volcanoes, because both of us once lived in the shadow of one. We both served LDS Missions in Vanuatu, which is how we know each other now. When we lived and served (at separate times) in Vanuatu we were right by Mount Yasur.


Yasur is an active volcano. It’s been said that the glow of lava is what attracted Captain James Cook to the islands in 1774, and it’s still active to this day. Throughout the day and night there are consistent explosions. It sounds like thunder and sometimes the ground shakes. The gas and ash that comes out can smell and get everywhere, depending on the wind, and it looks pretty spectacular when viewed at night.

Kristin and I both pulled out some photos from when we were there (I also took the photo shown above).


The first photo, and this one, were taken on opposite sides. You can see that there is green and vegetation on one side, and a large plane of ash/sand on the other. It’s awesome.


That’s me. Baby me.

(That skirt had great pockets.)

I lived in the nearby village for almost 6 months. By the end of my time there, the rumbling and grumbling of that volcano were just as helpful in lulling me to sleep as the sound of the waves. That’s something I still miss, all these years later.

So our walk to Mordor this week included a jaunt around an old volcano, as we got to know each other a little better.

I do travel around a lot for my job. Sometimes it’s annoying to have to pack my life into 1 suitcase and leave my comfort zone and friends, but then there are just so many adventures with new and wonderful people. One of my favorite things about humans is how excited they get about showing you around a place that they call home. Being welcomed with open arms into a new and different place started when I lived in Vanuatu, and has continued in every big city or small town that I’ve spent time in since.

It’s taught me that new and different is very rarely a bad thing, and all of us have much more in common than we think.



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