Friday, May 1, 2009

What we did last Friday

Last Friday our family went to Ape Caves up near Mount St. Helens. We've heard about Ape Caves for a long time, but Christina was the one who finally got us all to go. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, Ape Caves is a lava tube. The lava is from an earlier Mount St. Helens eruption (not the 1980 one). So what does a lave tube look like? It's a relatively long, skinny cave with none of the typical cave formations like stalactites or stalagmites.

The entrance to the cave is just a big hole in the ground with stairs going down into it. That white pile is snow--there was still a lot in the forest around the cave, but it was a warm, gorgeous sunny day, so it was all melting.

This picture is taken from about the same place as the other, looking further into the cave instead of out. Down that tunnel is another stair that takes you down to the main level of the cave.

We read that there was supposed to be a notable rock formation called "The Meatball" somewhere in the middle of the cave--we figure this was it, but it didn't look all that much like a meatball depending on where you stood.

The cave narrows at the end, to the point where you have to bend over double to go farther. Dad went the farthest, and said he could see that it still continued.

The roof of the cave was surprisingly tall at times. Looking at the picture afterwards, I was amazed at the the size of the tunnel at this point. That light spot in the lower left is Christina.

I think we all felt a little starved for light by the time we came out. A couple times we huddled together and turned off our flashlights to experience the pitch-black of the cave. It was also pretty cold, and, strangely enough, there's a breeze down there.

It was good to get into the light and warmth again. Before we went home we ate a picnic dinner at Yale Lake, and in some ways I enjoyed that better than the cave. Isn't it natural to prefer the warm sunshine next to a beautiful lake, surrounded by mountains, to a dark, wet, cold tube in the ground? Not if you like spelunking I guess...

Mt. St. Helens from the road to Ape Caves.

Yale Lake from our picnic table, with Mt. St. Helens behind that ridge on the left.

Since I seem to have dificulty posting very often, I suppose there's a good chance I won't post again until school is over. Three weeks to go!!! I can hardly wait. Life right now consists of a lot of computer work for my Excel class, preparing for photography assignments, and practicing violin. All good things, but they do take a lot of time. I've been trying to keep up on a Whitefield Old Testament survey course when I have the time, but I don't get to it very often. It will wait; that's the beauty of a course with no deadlines. Goodbye then, until my next post!

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