Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Ape Caves

We went with my family to Ape caves!  It has been on my list of Washington things to do for a while now but I've been waiting for the kids to be older.  But since others were going we decided not to wait and to just go anyway.  Leon stayed home with Grandma.

The ape caves are really one long cave just over 2 miles long that was carved out thousands of years ago by lava.  It was so neat to see the interior walls had this smooth rock.
Once you enter the cave you can go the easy way which is .75 miles round trip and everyone can walk it easily or the hard way which is a 1.5 miles of climbing over rocks.  We decided to go the easy way, but once we were done we wanted to go onto the hard way.
It was pretty hard!  We had to make a bathroom stop in between so when we started on the hard way it was just me bob and Penelope and Scarlett.  Our only light was from our flashlights and other than that it was %100 black.  The girls were scared and wanted to stop so many times but after hours in there (I think about 4) we finally made it out!
There were so many times when we couldn't see which way to go beyond the rock right in front of us.  We just had to get over it and then hope we would see the way after we crossed it.  It was impossible to tell how much time had passed or how far we had gone.  Because we had never done it before we had no reference for how far we were.  One and a half miles climbing over rocks in the pitch black with a 4 and 5 year old feels 20 times longer then my regular 3 mile jog!  We were pretty happy when we caught up with the rest of the group.  Then just after most of our flashlights had run out of batteries we saw the light at the end of the tunnel!
See how Penelope is wearing lots of shirts.  Even though it was like 90 outside we were freezing in the tunnel and after the easy side we ran back to the car while Scarlett was going to the bathroom and got every article of clothing we could find and put it on.  Scarlett ended up wearing Leon's sweater.  Tucker only had two t-shirts on and must have been freezing.  He loved it though and was too busy having fun to complain.
Scarlett and Penelope were really good troopers.  The entire time they kept going back and forth from hating it and being miserable to loving it.  After we got over each mound of rocks we did a big cheer to keep their spirits up.  After we made it out we walked the 1.5 above ground to get back to where we started.
I really enjoyed the hike and want to go again someday.  I felt such a sense of accomplishment for our family to complete such a hard thing.  I think maybe in five years the younger kids will be old enough to really enjoy it and not need so much help. 

For anyone thinking about going to the Ape caves I would definitely recommend for any must do Washington list.  Just keep in mind that it is hard, but doable.  I would say anyone 8 and up can probably do it with some help although that depends a lot on the personality of the child.  Anyone under 8 will need a considerable amount of help to do the harder side of the cave.  And I think anyone who can walk can do the easier side.

1 comment:

Sabrina Bartholomew said...

So fun! I have always wanted to go there, you have inspired me!