We currently live 31 miles away from a volcano. Boom.
Mt. Baker is a part of the North Cascade range, which you can see on a clear day from just about anywhere in Bellingham. It's an active volcano, surrounded by several other large and incredibly beautiful mountains. Just an hour's drive from Bellingham is Artist Point, from which you can view these mountains or strike out on some very scenic trails. We took Bryan's parents there in August. The weather was fantastic, the sky was beautiful. Three or four hours passed without us even realizing.
^^Pssst...I'm a slide show! Just click the image^^
It's been a dream of ours to be in a place with BIG nature. Living here has been just as good as we'd hoped. For the next several months, this wilderness is right at our fingertips. Instead of being separated by 3 (expensive) plane tickets, and a ton of planning, we have easy access to these wild places (as long as the weather permits).
Now, responsibility doesn't allow us to just drop everything and head to the mountains whenever we feel like it. But those mountains, just knowing they exist so close to us, (even if it's only for a year) -this means freedom. That's enough.