Recently Jen visited me out in Colorado for her Mountain Sabbatical, and as usual it was a glorious trip. We snowmobiled out in Leadville, tubed in Frisco, dined in Minturn, biked in Carbondale, and soaked in Glenwood Springs. One night I was telling a story that up until then had kept to myself. Since the telling I have been giggling up a storm remembering her face, with tears of laughter streaming down. Good belly laughs. And so I will tell you:
I was on vacation with friends and boyfriend at the time visiting St. Helen’s. After volcano viewing, the plan was to explore the Ape Cave. Sadly there really wasn’t any volcano viewing, as it was a cold and damp day – fog had set in hiding the peak. Take a moment, read the few paragraphs description of the cave path.
Chris got the idea to have chili, the cart was well placed in the parking lot of St. Helen’s, it seemed like a good idea on a cold day.
The caves weren’t all that bad, I had some trouble (aforementioned knee issues) but it was an interesting exploration. There was a scraped shin, no light, and no sense of time or distance. I’d recommend it to anyone to do, but it’s not on my list to do again.
Did you get to the part in the description where there is the “8-foot lava fall?” This for me could have been considered one of the circles of hell. Flash backs to team challenges at elementary school Field Day, waves of anxiety. “Some people need assistance scaling it, as there is only one significant foothold.” Yes, I was lucky to have been there with a group. First up and over the wall was Matt, the team pushing from behind, he then was able to help pull up his fiancé. Total team work. Chris was at the base of the wall helping to push: I was next.
In mid-push from the back I was stuck somewhere in between being pulled my Matt when the chili worked its way through my system, blanketing the crew. A wrank, odiferous blanket.
Poor Chris, he just pushed on through, face having been right near the portal… and muttered: For All that is Good and Holy.