Notes from Windward: #67

The Ice Caves

Becca describes a visit to a lava tube


Becca writes:

     Yesterday we went on a trip to some ice caves! Back in Minnesota I enjoy exploring the manmade sandstone caves in the cities that have been used for everything from gangster hideouts to breweries, so it was exciting to hear that there were local caves out here as well. The ones out here are naturally formed from pockets of air that have formed under lava. Itís amazing, they go on for miles under this national park, and when you walk above and stomp you can hear how the ground under you is hollow.

  

     One might expect a cave formation formed by lava to be exceptionally hot, but as soon as you go underground there are massive ice crystals and itís the temperature of a chilly refrigerator. And this is on a sunny 80 degree summer day, mind you. There were a few different sinkholes you could go in, all with accessible main passages, and then offshoots for the person who wanted to belly crawl in strange directions on ice. None of them were particularly long, but it was cool to see.

     On the way back we stuffed ourselves with wild blackberries that were growing for miles along the Columbia and returned with a bucketful to make into pies or smoothies or whatever other inventions we come up with.

  


Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 67