Mt. St. Helens Ape Cave
August 29, 2006

The Ape Cave on the south side of Mt. St. Helens is the longest lave tube in the Continental U.S. - we've been through it a couple of times before, but this was the first time to take the boys. The travel is difficult to the upper entrance, and the boys did great, but both of them were ready to get out of the dark and back into the light by the time we'd reached the upper end!

Here we are at the entrance, armed with headlamps, flashlights and lantern.

First we went down to the lower end - here's Maren and the boys as far as we were able to go.

Then we headed up to the upper end - some of the chambers were quite large!

Bryden and Gavin sitting up on a shelf they scrambled up to

In some places, the tube choked down until it was quite narrow - here we had to scramble up a small lava flow to continue upwards

And here's Maren and the guys sitting at the upper end, 2 1/4 miles of underground travel from the lower end

Ah - finally back out in the sunshine and ready to hike back to the lower entrance!

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