Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Journey into the Earth

IMG_6635I took my new hiking friend from church on a new adventure today. We headed up to Falls Creek Cave, which is not on the map, and is virtually absent from the internet (save a Japanese site and the local guy’s blog whose book I have). It is touted as one of the longest lava tubes in the world and it is cool.

(Cape Horn that morning)


To get to the cave we drove up several forest roads. I noticed this large ant hill on the side of the road and I had to stop. We eventually found the entrance in a collapsed part of the cave that is now a pit.


To get to the main cave you have to go through an underground passage first, it was filled with big ice formations.


Standing at the entrance to the main cave gives a little sense of vertigo. To get to the cave floor you have to first climb down a three or four story pile of boulders.


Inside the tunnel is huge. It makes a train tunnel look small. We had fun hiking through enjoying the tunnel size, the colorful rocks, and the odd lava formations.


Falls Creek Cave has added fun because of several side tunnels that form loops in the cave. In one tunnel we found this little dew covered bat (about the size of a mouse). The second picture is on of the forks in the cave, we thought it looked like a ship bow.


After exploring we came back to the entrance, you can see Wil standing at the bottom of the boulder pile exit.


I liked these rocks by the exit. The moss made them look pretty cool.


This is part of the road up to the cave. Good thing my minivan can do it.


On the way out I showed Wil one of my favorite waterfalls, Panther Creek Falls.


Ruth thinks there ought to be a unicorn in the rainbow picture.

Colors of the Washougal

I took my family up the Washougal River on a nice day. I think this is a beautiful body of water and there were some waterfalls on it that I hadn’t seen yet. Our first stop was to see this little waterfall flowing into the river. Notice the wonderful colors of the river itself.


On one stop we found this cute little lizard. Magnus really liked it.


Salmon Falls is not much to see, but just downstream is this cool shoreline.


Dougan Falls is the most well known spot on the Washougal. It is a great swim hole. The thing Magnus is holding is his map; he used it to help us not get lost.


Naked Falls was Magnus’s favorite, he thought the name was funny.


Reeder Falls is rather small and to interesting, though the canyon is pretty…


But downstream on the other side of the bridge is magnificent. This was Ruth’s favorite stop.


Our last stop was for the last two waterfalls. Again some amazing colors.


Mad Dog Falls was under a bridge. Magnus liked running around outside a lot, but he needed a break in the car.


Docs Drop Falls had a lot of interesting little details.


We finished our loop by coming back past Cape Horn. Magnus fell asleep holding is map and gps (an old Nintendo Gameboy), he could be a good navigator someday.


A Day on the Mountain


Our adventure to Mt. Hood was a success. Anton took his scouts ice caving the night before, and we came up on Saturday to go tubing with them. The weather was beautiful.





Magnus was excited to get to go down the snow.


At the top of the big hill:


We soon moved to a shorter hill. We had fun going up and down the hill. Gideon even got a few rides with Ruth.


After tubing we went to explore Anton’s ice caves.


Thanks for the great day, Mt. Hood.


And have a trip down the hill with us: