As the eruption of Mount Redoubt continues, so too do the photographic opportunities, at least on the days when the clouds cooperate by pulling back to reveal the stratovolcano superstar.
Since Redoubt gave off its first plume of steam and ash back on March 15, there have only been a handful of days that the volcano was even partially visible, and last Friday was the first time the entire volcano has been visible for an extended period.
Over the course of several hours, numerous people pulled over from various vantage points -- along Kaliforsky Beach Road, Bridge Access Road and the Spur Highway -- to take advantage of the clear day, snapping a few photographs of the volcano with everything from cell phones to long-lensed Nikons.
Pat Porter of Kenai said she turned around and went back to her home to get a camera once she saw the impressive view. She wanted to pop off a picture for posterity's sake.
"I've been here for more than 30 years, and I remember the last eruption, but I didn't get any photos. This time around, today was the first time I've been able to get to a camera and get back while it was still out. I wanted to take a few pictures, just to have them," she said.
Lyle Skrimger of Kenai said he had come to the pull-out on Bridge Access Road to take photos since the eruption is a rare occurrence, but also he was hoping to get a shot nice enough to add it to the decor of his home.
"It only happens every 20 years, so I wanted to get a few. If I get one worth keeping, I may put it up in the house," he said.
Christine Armond of Kenai said she had only recently moved to Kenai from the Midwest. She had never seen Redoubt or any other volcano erupt, so she want photos to mark the occasion and to share with others in the Lower 48.
"You just don't even see mountains back where I'm from, much less a snow-covered volcano giving off steam and ash, so my family and friends back in Oklahoma really love seeing this stuff," she said.
While many had come by their own choice, Jessica Gonzalez of Niksiki said she was taking photos of the volcano last Friday for other purposes. She had been assigned a project for her Color Photography class at Kenai Peninsula College, so she said staring at Redoubt through a camera lens was part of going for good grades.
"It's homework," she said, but added that as homework goes -- staring at the steaming volcano in the warm rays of the sun and in the soft breeze -- it was a pretty enjoyable assignment.
Joseph Robertia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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