None of us really knew what we were going to find. With a little internet research and I was able to come up with some idea of what we could to expect. I was looking forward to what we would find (giant icicles, and crystal clear ice castles). Sunday morning we (Wendi, Jodie, Greg, and I) met at Wendi's place, loaded up Greg's explorer and we were off to find the Guler Ice Cave.
The drive out to Trout Lake, WA was about 2hours. When we reached the end of the road we found out that we needed a 'Snow Park Pass' unfortunately the Ranger station was closed, and the Trout Lake Store was sold out of day passes, so we got ticketed $75 (lame). The good news is that we caught the ranger as he was writing the ticket and he told us we could buy a pass for the day and fax it along with the ticket to him and he would wave the ticket. He also told us that it was cheaper to by the Snow park Passes in Oregon anyway ($11 in WA, $3.75 in OR for the same thing?).
Anyway, back to the good stuff...We still had about a mile to hike in the snow to get to the cave. Luckily we brought along our snowshoes. Making short work of the mile we soon reached the cave. The cave is well marked and easy to find, unlike many of the other caves that dot the landscape in this area with their locations kept as guarded secrets.
__We all took our turn sliding down the ice slide near the end of the cave (a little tricky getting back up though).
__Making our way back, and then continuing down the into the other end of the cave. It was just awesome to look at the many ice formations in this cave.
As we came around the corner we could see the light of day ahead. Greg whispered back to the rest of us to be quiet and move slowly... What was it that Greg seen ahead in the cave? Oh no!! Could it be... the legendary "Rabbit of Canerbannog"?
run away, run away..." Oh, sorry about that, I got a little carried away with the Monty Python reference (I couldn't resist)...
We exited the cave behind the *evil* bunny, up and out on the snow that had filled in the skylight in the cave. Do to the features listed on the cave map, I think there might be more cave to explore buried behind the snow that had filled in at this skylight. We'll have to go back sometime later in the spring or early summer and see if I'm correct. Maybe we can find and explore some of the other many caves in the area.
When we got back to the car is when we found the ranger writing us the ticket. The ranger was very nice and understanding, but he all ready made out the ticket. So he told us how to get the ticket dropped.
We made our way back to Wendi's place where she has a delicious pot roast and fixings waiting for us in the crock pot. After we unloaded our gear we threw in a terrible, yet entertaining movie from the 60's and enjoyed a laugh or two with dinner. We finished off dinner with desert, a little crème brûlée (yes, I did just spent 20min trying to find spelling for "crème brûlée"). To wrap up the day, we enjoyed a relaxing dip in the hot tub. Recalling the days adventures, and making plans for other potential adventures in the future.
Have fun, stay safe, and never stop exploring!!!