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Off-grid living is no longer a one room log cabin in the woods. It's energy independency. You don't have to rely on utility companies, you create your own power. Today, there are more than 180,000 off-grid homes in the US.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Ape Caves Hike...

7:38 pm - 50 degrees - raining...

It’s been many years since Tony or I have been to the Ape Caves and now our kids are old enough to make the hike and enjoy it.  So this morning we drove the two and a half hours, passing through rural towns, lakes and lots of beautiful forest to get to our destination where we met up with a group of friends (there were 36 of us).

The Ape Caves is a lava tube located in Gifford Pinchot National Forest just to the south of Mount St. Helens in Washington State.  Its passageway is the longest continuous lava tube in the continental United States and the third longest (in total mapped length) lava tube in North America at 2.5 miles.  It was formed about 2,000 year ago when hot molten lava from Mount St. Helens poured down the volcano’s southern flank and entered a stream channel.  The surface of the lava cooled, forming a hard crust, and insulated the lava flowing beneath, which was able to travel a great distance.
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Once inside the cave, there is no outside light source and temperatures drop to about 42 degrees.  With flashlights and head lamps fully functional (although threatening at times to go out), we conquered the lower Ape Caves lava tube.

We had a great day exploring the wonders of the volcano that is right in our back yard.  Those of you who live in Washington or Northern Oregon please take the time to explore these caves.  Children of all ages will enjoy it, and so will you!

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