Tuesday 22 November 2011


Look, I'm sorry to keep harping on about this mountain, but it's pretty spectacular - pretty and spectacular - you have to agree: certainly Ellen in St Louis does, envying our having to drive only 4 hours or so to get to it. She would have to drive for a day, she says, to reach a mountain, and even then it wouldn't be as pretty as Mt Taranaki.

But of course there are lots of stunning mountains in the US, although rather further away. I have to admit to a preference for the volcanoes: they're so much more satisfyingly shaped, there's something very aesthetically pleasing about that regular cone. I was thrilled to see Mt Baker so clearly when we were in Washington state last year, poking up unexpectedly on the horizon behind Seattle and becoming clearer and clearer as we drove north. And then when we came back across Puget Sound from the San Juan islands, there it was, looming up over the sea, white and sparkling and huge.

It's in the photo I chose for November when I was compiling my calendar for this year, so it's there on the kitchen wall right now, a white triangle peeping up behind a mass of brilliant orange pumpkins growing out at a pick-your-own farm where families were wheeling their toddlers round in barrows, scouting round for the best-looking ones for their Thanksgiving decorations. But it's the coastal one I'm going with today, because the shape shows up better. Remarkably similar to Taranaki, don't you think?

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