Ape caves

Amber is in the other room finishing up a run on the treadmill, so I thought I'd do some work toward my resolution to blog more this year.  I didn't have anything in particular to write about, so I thought I'd find some pictures to post from 2011.  What I discovered is the following:

  • My pictures from 2011 are completely disorganized
  • With the exception of wedding-related pictures, I really didn't take that many last year
  • Most of the pictures I did take are pretty bad

Given this situation, I've decided to post some pictures that are bad, but for good reason: they were mostly taken in the dark.

Back in September, Amber and I did a day trip to the Ape Caves near Mount St. Helens.  It was a nice warm day outside, and we were dressed appropriately… for the weather outside.

In the sun

What you can't see outside of frame is the sign that describes the proper equipment for exploring the caves, including long pants, hiking boots, and coleman lanterns - none of which we had.  We did have head lamps, a couple of flashlights, and Amber (clearly the smart one) brought a fleece.  I was dressed in shorts and a t-shirt.  We happened to get there just in time to join a guide on an interpretive hike into the caves.

Here's the entrance to the caves:

Into the darkness

Inside the cave, it turns out that it is around 42 F year round, and water drips from the ceiling.  Here I am in the earlier stages of hypothermia:


We hiked the easy part of the caves that day, the lower Ape Cave.  The darkness in the cave is not something I encounter in my day-to-day existence.  Usually there is some source of ambient light visible.  Down there, there is none.  If you turn off your lights, it is very creepy.

Cameras work better with light

We took this arm-length shot by turning off our lights and guessing where the camera was pointed.Cheese!

Once we were back above ground, we drove to some of the nearby trails and finished our day in warmth and sunlight hiking Lava Canyon - but not without other peril, as you can see.

Is this really a good idea?

Death lurks at every turn...

It was a pretty trail, with rapids and interesting rock formations.


My least favorite part of the day: the suspension bridge we had to cross on the trail.

Do we have to?

We lived to tell the tale, though and had a thoroughly fun day.  Here's to lots more adventures in 2012 and blogging about them in a more timely manner!

We survived!

3 comments for “Ape caves”

  1. Gravatar of AmberAmber
    Posted Sunday, January 08, 2012 at 3:23:38 PM

    Thanks for posting these, took me back to that very fun day. We will definitely have to go back with lanterns and pants. Really fun.

  2. Gravatar of Ann-MarieAnn-Marie
    Posted Monday, January 09, 2012 at 11:41:24 AM

    Dude, I could have totally warned you about the Ape Caves. :-)
    Also, bring multiple light sources. I went once with three friends and two of their flashlights died while we were in the big tube. If you ever want to go back and want some company Kevin and I would gladly join you.

  3. Gravatar of Ann-MarieAnn-Marie
    Posted Monday, January 09, 2012 at 11:42:09 AM

    Oh, and it is great to see you posting again too!

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