i spent hours climbing through the ape caves at mt. st. helens in southern washington with some awesome friends, what did you do?!
we started our trek bright an early from seattle and headed south to woodland where our adventures began. let me start by saying i had no idea it was so close to portland! that would have been an awesome weekend adventure. oh well. now i know and next time, i’ll do a bit more relaxation in the area after all that work!
once we arrived in woodland we stopped at the info center to grab our park pass and get a map. we got a few tips from the lady at the center and took a few pictures like every good tourist should. then it was back in the car and down the road for another 30 as we climbed closer to the mountain. for many people, the mountain is forever engraved in our memory for the catastrophic eruption in the 80s. and it’s subsequent made for tv movies. it towers ominously above everything in the area just in case you forget who’s boss. nature ain’t nothing to play with! but it’s certainly wonderful to play in! and that’s just what we did.
geared up with head lamps, flashlights, water bottles, gloves, hats and a few extra layers of clothes (it’s 40 degrees in the caves!) we began our journey. okay, i’m just going to go ahead and say it.
i felt like the fellowship setting out to rivendell! sigh. if only. but for reals, climbing down the stairs into the caves felt a lot like the shire and hiking through the caves felt a lot like walking through the mines of moria. yep, i’m a geek. but you already know that!
we hiked, climbed and danced (what’s a hike without a dance break?) our way through 2 hours of an underground lava tube in complete darkness except for the light from our head lamps and flash lights. much of our hike was in solitude but every so often we ran into fellow adventurers who were eager to share their excitement along the way. it was by far my favorite hike in the state of washington so far. mostly because at various times during the hike i reenacted goonies, journey to the center of the earth, lord of the rings, the hobbit and prometheus. again, i’m a huge geek! i would definitely do it again! and because i know you’re curious, i’ve included a few pictures!