We'd scheduled a local area flight in a 172 Cessna for several days, but Washington's fickle weather kept us grounded until yesterday's sunny treat. With everything wide open, we decided to explore the rim of Mt. St. Helens. With flying restrictions lifted on the now-snoozing volcano, we were able to get within 1000 - 1200 feet from the rim, allowing us a mesmerizing view of the inside red rock walls, the lazily steaming dome and the contrasting white carpet of the outside slopes. If fuel were no factor, we'd probably still be up there circling. All of the Cascade peaks were stretched into the blue yesterday, including majestic Mt. Rainier, close-by going and returning to Seattle. Never-to-be-forgotten!