muck, snow, and caves


Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge was looking very mucky. It’s a good thing there’s a long, long boardwalk.


The entrance to the Ape Cave by Mt. St. Helens was icy and snow-filled. There was a rope to help visitors get down past the snow. From there it’s a 3/4-mile walk through a chilly, dripping, rocky lava tube. Very dark, naturally, with fungus growing on the walls. At the end of the walk through the Lower Cave it gets smaller and shallower and you have to either turn around and go back or squirm on your belly through cold puddles of water. This visit required a mile or so of walking on a snow-covered road to reach the cave.


Here’s the little vee-hickle, a used Honda Fit, that’s my new transportation robot. Because it’s still the early 2000’s, this machine requires a large amount of human input to get safely from place to place. That’s right. I have to “drive” it, using an old-fashioned steering wheel and brake pedal to keep it on the road and prevent crashes.



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