Monday, July 21, 2014

Mount St. Helens

We did a couple more hikes while on the south side of Mount St. Helens. The first was to June Lake, a trail that mostly goes through the woods, with occasional views of the mountain, and lava fields from many centuries ago. This is not the side that erupted in 1980, so the mountain looks fairly normal from here.

The lake is 1.3 miles from the trailhead. I know there is supposed to be a waterfall here - we could hear it, but it was around the corner.

Ah! How pretty! A little hard to get a picture of looking right into the sun - it looked better in person.

Another hike we did was down into Ape Cave, the longest known lava tube in North America, at almost 2 1/2 miles long. You enter via stairs in the middle of the tube, then can walk either the upper part, which is very difficult, or the lower part, which is easy. Guess which way I went!

It was fairly easy going, except that it was pitch black. I was happy I had bought a new bright flashlight recently.

We walked about a half mile (seemed longer) until we reached "The Meatball," a lava boulder wedged halfway to the cave's 30-foot ceiling.

From there we turned around and scurried back to the sunshine.

We then moved our rigs over to the east side of the mountain, where we could drive to the Windy Ridge viewpoint.

From here you get a good look at the crater which is a result of the 1980 eruption.

All that wood in the water is dead trees taken down by the blast.

I climbed the 439 steps up to the top of the ridge, where you could get a good look at a couple other volcanoes - Mt. Adams here -

And a little glimpse of Mt. Rainier.

We stayed at two different Sno Parks on our trip around the mountain - wonderful spots, and free if you have a Senior Pass.