Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Exploring Ape Caves

On the last day of our backpacking trip, William wanted to go to Ape Caves. We were so close, that we decided to go. Climbing over big piles of giant rocks in the dark is not my favorite thing to do, but it isn’t that bad and the guys all love it.

Since they entire walk is in the dark and Chris’ flashlight died the first 5 minutes in (thank goodness for back-ups), we didn’t get many pics. Will however did take a really nice one of Andy!

Ape caves 01 The boys made much better time though the caves than Chris and I did (I held him back) and were ahead of us much of the time. But I did really well until we got just about to the point where this picture was taken. I was so distracted by the sunlight up ahead that I ceased watching the ground and tripped. I caught myself before I really fell but not enough to stop my knee from hitting a rather jagged rock. Upon initial inspection with the flashlight, everything seemed ok. No blood, just sore. We kept walking the rest of the way out, only much slower than before.

We climbed out into the warm sunshine and sat on some rocks to wait for the boys who weren’t there already waiting for us. While waiting, I pulled up my pants leg to discover a rather large hole in my leg from where I fell. Still no blood but it was becoming more sore all the time.

Not wanting to wait, I hobbled back the 1.25 miles to the van. Just as we reached the parking lot, a very sharp pain shot through my leg. Suddenly I started to feel nauseous and thought I would pass out. By the time I reached the van, my leg started to gush and I had to lay down.

Chris was convinced we needed to go to the hospital and get stitches. I was convinced that all I needed was some Bactine to clean it out and a good band-aid. So I sent him to the info booth to see if they had some in their first aid kit.

He didn’t come back with any but did say that the kid working the booth was an EMT and wanted me to come so he could check it out. I think it made his otherwise super boring day. He just beamed when I limped up to the bench!

He helped me clean it up, got some steri-strips to help close it up a bit and stop the bleeding and bandaged it up. He also agreed with me… I didn’t need stitches. Now I will have a scar to match my other sweet scar on that knee! :o)

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But it wasn’t all bad. My sweet patient hubby treated us all out to supper in Cougar on the way home. Both the food and the beer was delicious and really helped my leg feel much better! Well, that and the ibuprofen I took.

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lewis river falls 85 Hopefully it will heal up soon! There are a lot of hikes we want to take up there still…

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Lewis River Falls Trail

Instead of walking 9 miles uphill to the trailhead to the falls trail, we walked back 1.75 miles to the van and drove there instead. Then we walked the trail from the campground to see all the waterfalls. The hike was gorgeous but we were really sorry we didn’t bring our swimsuits! Lots of great swimming holes on the trail!

Lower Lewis Falls:

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Lewis River Trail #31

lewis river falls 48The boys just had to cross that log

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Log jam at the bridge

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Middle Falls:

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Trail to Upper Falls:

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Upper Falls:

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We really had to ration our water on the return trip, so we were VERY thankful for water at the campground! And these pumps brought back memories from when I camped as a kid.

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We were once again thankful for the fact that we made camp less than 2 miles from the van! And for a cold river for swimming before supper…

Monday, August 12, 2013

Hiking the Lewis River Trail – Day 1

Last week we decided to go backpacking. We hadn’t gone in years and the weather was perfect! The trail we chose is on the south side of Mt St Helens on the Lewis River.

lewis river falls 01 It is amazing how heavy so many lightweight things can be!

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It’s pretty fancy to have a bathroom at the trailhead! (even if it is just a vault toilet)

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Curley Creek Falls was just at the parking lot

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Although the trail is rated as “crowded” we only saw a handful of people and a couple of mountain bikers

It was pretty hot and we were very thankful for the shade of all the trees and being on the beautiful Lewis River!

lewis river falls 07lewis river falls 08  Eventually we gave in, shed our packs, and went for a swim! The cold water was so refreshing!

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The spot was so nice we decided to go ahead and set up camp only 1.75 miles in and just relax the rest of the day!

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After swimming, we went for a walk upstream to check out the shelter at Bolt Camp.

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lewis river falls 21 These signs are everywhere! It must be a popular fishing spot…

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What a great camp fire spot!

On the way back to our camp, we walked by another beautiful camp right on the river!

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All that walking wore us out! So we took it easy the rest of the day and went to bed right after dark…

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