Friday, July 16, 2010

Ape Cave

Noah has been bugging us to take him to the Ape Cave Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument for a LONG time. We finally made it up there today. It was amazing. It took us a little over an hour to drive up to the park, from there it's a quick walk to the entrance of the lava tube and spelunking we went! The old lava tube was larger than we expected, very dark and very chilly. It was a constant 42 degrees with a slight breeze. Luckily we didn't go during the rainy season so the drops of water only landed on us occasionally. It was tough getting good pictures in the cave, I needed to use the auto focus because I couldn't see far enough to manually focus the camera. The camera had a tough time too! I still managed to take a ton of pictures, so many that I decided to go with a slide show this time. This was a fun experience and I would highly recommend you go and experience the Ape Cave for yourself. However, we did decide against navigating the upper portion of the cave, we were worried about Oliver making his way through/up/over the various breakdown piles. The upper portion is a bit more technical than the lower portion. He did GREAT in the lower portion though. We did hike on the outside trail up to the far end of the upper cave and made our descent into the cave up there.


Shana said...

Did you get chlosterphobic at all?

Johnson Family said...

Not on the lower portion of the cave, no. It was quite open, easy to navigate, etc. Only two things that bothered me. The tunnel comes to an end, a big wall so to speak, but at the bottom is a smaller tunnel. It just goes and comes to another wall but it's too small for me to crawl into. The boys belly crawled into it and disappeared, I started to have a little panic attack trying to figure out how I was going to go in there if needed. By the time I had convinced myself that I could do it if needed and there would be no need for me to run in the dark cave, back to the top to get help, they were back again. "YEAH, mom is so proud of you two, now LET'S GO!!" lol
The other time was when a group, looked like a field trip, that was near us would not stop screaming and yelling. A bunch of kids, screaming/yelling like that in the cave was over whelming. The noise doesn't travel in there like it does outside so it would bounce around and come at you from all directions. It was a really odd sensation. My brain couldn't handle it. We ended up just hanging out at the end of the tunnel until we could no longer see or hear them, then we started our trek back up.
From the sounds of it, the upper cave would have done me in though.

Amy said...

oh my goodness i had to bail right at the entrance - beginning of this thing years back. Too claustrophobic. Cool pics but it even makes me shiver.