ice caves

With the bike repaired they took us to the Ice Caves up the valley.  Pretty neat.  I have no idea where we were, I think this is in the national forest.

View from the parkinglot.

Trails were very well maintained, except for the end it was wheelchair accessable.  We went through marshes and swamps first, no pics of that.

My first rain forest..  Now I know what they mean by checking which side of the tree for moss to find your way. Back home, moss? whats that?

Whole area looked like Degobah.. I’m expecting Yoda to turn up any second.

Very recent damage from over the winter, a avalanche took out big swaths of the forest.  All the trees were snapped like toothpicks at even heights.

Wow!

With enormous trees and a landslide covering part of the nice trail someone had kindly made a few rickety bridges across some of the streams from the wreckage.

Into the glacial valley lots of waterfalls everywhere from the spring melt.

It looks like the waterfalls go behind the ice sheets and then come out the front and thats how the ice caves were made.  These blocks of snow at the base of the mountains never melts, but they also arent big enough to move at a high enough rate to be called a glacier.

One of the ice caves.  They both had warned us not to go inside, as several people have died in them from falling ice and caveins.

Cool!  Literally.  There was a steady breeze of super cooled air coming out of these.

This bigger one was just massive!  I bet you could easily fit three tractor trailers in there side by side.  There was a giant mound of snow before the enterance of this one, I’m guessing from one of the caveins.   Sadly a few weeks after these were taken and we had gotten home her aunt called and informed us that another young girl had died in the caves and they were now thinking of closing them off to visitors again.

All around the base of the mountain were piles and piles of loose jagged rocks from runoff and glaciers, but everything was covered in wildflowers.  Very beautiful.

Columbines.  We have tried and tried and tried to grow these without any luck.  They grow wild in the mountains back home but refuse to grow in our gardens ;)

My Mom would kill to get ground cover like this.

Everywhere along the trails were several kinds of ferns, and flowers, almost like a garden.

Cece’s Aunt has a thing for heart shaped rocks and always has to find one for every hike, so we were all scouring the hillsides for them.  Rusty saw this in the dead center in the middle of raging water LOL.

After a bit of back and fourth and the girls begging him not to get hurt he went for it anyway and braved 20 yards of ice cold knee high water to check it out only to find out it was nothing.

Heres her collection.

And the ones we found from the safety of dry land, the big grey one is mine <g>

During the hike I was tasked with getting a few family photos to send to an Aunt in Pasedina Texas.



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