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Yale Park and Ape Cave, Washington

Mount St. Helens the day before was certainly one of the highlights of this vacation. We are determined to see the mountain again today, but not that close. And we had a different agenda for today: visit the Ape Cave, a famous lava tube just south of Mount St. Helens. Originally we planned to go all the way to the Windy Ridge Viewpoint, but given that it is a 3 hours drive from Vancouver, WA (where we stayed over night), we skipped this part and decided to spend more time at the Cave site. Totally worth it!

The way to the Ape Cave is the Lewis River Road, WA State Route 503. Following this road will inevitably bring you to Yale Lake.

Mount St. Helens

Getting some rest in Olympia was good, but the kid couldn’t sit still any longer - Mount St. Helens was finally on! If you ask the kid, it can probably tell you more about volcanos in general, and particularly this one than you might ever learn in a lifetime. Therefore visiting Mount St. Helens was supposed to be one of the highlights of this vacation.

You can’t really go up all the way to Mount St. Helens, but there are several places from where you have a wonderful view at the volcano. There are two ways you can use: in the north it’s Spirit Lake Highway, the 504. And in the south it’s Lewis River Road, the 503. Make your decision, each route is good for one day. For today, coming from Olympia, we decided on the northern route.

The Twilight Tour

Going to Washington (State), Andrea asked if we can visit the places where the Twilight novels take place. Basically Port Angeles, Forks, La Push and Olympia. That’s too much for one day, so we settled on a roundtrip around the Olympic National Park for one day, and Olympia for another day. That is also the reason why we travelled to Bremerton the day before: just to shorten the trip for today.

Seattle Museum of Flight and Chihuly Bridge of Glass

One day adaption to jetlag is enough ;-) Therefore we left Seattle and headed to Bremerton for the night. But how to spend the day? Well, there is the Museum of Flight, which I discovered on an earlier trip to WA. And searching the Internet, I found the Chihuly Bridge of Glass in Tacoma.

Geocaching HQ

After figuring out that our vacation will bring us to Seattle, I checked the Geocaching map for potential caches in the area of our hotel. Sure enough, some nice virtual caches and regular caches popped up, but also one named “Geocaching HQ” - wait, what?

So far I wasn’t aware that the HQ was in Seattle, but learned something new that day. The HQ cache also showed opening times for visitors. That’s where we had to change our plans for that day, because they only open one hour in the afternoon, and this greatly overlapped with our other plans. Well then, let’s go there first, find some nice caches and travel bugs, and then go to the hotel. Oh, and hope that the plane does not arrive too late, and that immigration will not take too long.