“As a European, I have never been anywhere near Tacoma mountain, but this little book with its stunning black and white photographs made me feel as if I were standing at the foot of this majestic snow peak, this stratovolcano, looking up to the forested slopes, the patches of snow and the glaciers. There is a lot to enjoy in this book. First, there are the legends surrounding the mountain. What to think of the story about a man who went up the mountain as a young hunter looking for hiaqua (Indian shell money) and somehow fell in a deep sleep while he was up there, and after thirty years, he came back down as an old man, his only richness being the lesson that the mountain taught him. And then there is that other legend that somehow sounds familiar, about a big flood that drowns the snakes and all the bad animals, while one man, his children and the good animals are saved by climbing up a ladder into the clouds.
No wonder, writes John H. William, that this mountain of changing moods, overtopping every other eminence in the Northwest, answered the idea of God to the simple, imaginative mind of the Indians who hunted in the forest on its slopes or fished in the waters of Whulge that ebbed and flowed at its base.
The rest of the book describes the Tacoma mountain in all its glory, from every angle, its flora and fauna, the giant fir trees and cedars, the waterfalls, ice caves and glaciers, the snow-filled craters on the top, accompanied by beautiful photographs, including one that shows the rounded cone of St. Helens volcano in the distance.
Written with an obvious passion for nature in general and the Tacoma mountain in specific, I think The Mountain that was God is a wonderful read. A walk in one of the few wild places remaining on earth. A fresh mountain breeze.”