Thursday, April 16, 2015
When we went to Mt. St. Helens area, we hiked The Trail of Two Forests. First we accidentally wandered around the forest peering into big caves and holes in the rock, but I didn't have my camera or my phone with me, so no pictures. Then we realized we were aimlessly following what were likely deer paths through the woods and turned back. The actual trail is a boardwalk with educational signs and was amazing. Apparently thousands of years ago, an eruption occurred and lava flowed through the forests. Basically, lava surrounded trees, which caught on fire and burned, but the lava cooled faster than the trees burned, which meant that the lava cooled around the trunks, which then burned away and left huge tree casts in the forest. Some of them were like wells straight down, and some were horizontal. There is even a tree cast tunnel that you can climb through if you're brave enough (we weren't). The picture immediately above is part of that tunnel and you can see the cast of bark left where the lava cooled against a tree trunk before the tree burned away. It is an old forest cast in stone with a new forest growing up all around it.
The colors of the pictures are quite accurate; I haven't edited them in any way. It was lush and rich and spongy, greens and yellows and browns in hues so deep and vibrant. I really love the Cascades and miss the damp mosses now that we're living here in the desert on the other side of them.
The rest of the pictures are from the same trip on the property of Cedar Creek Retreat, where we were staying, a 20 acre plot with trails and creek access a quarter mile from the cottage. Describing it as beautiful is an understatement. It was breathtaking.