Friday, August 16, 2013

An Ice Caves Adventure

You guys, I'm going to be honest here. I love, love, love family adventures, but sometimes when we find ourselves in pouring rain, or the walk is longer than we expected, someone has a rock in his shoe, or a certain girl wants to stop and smell every.single.flower, I wonder if we're doing too much. I think to myself, "Well, they ARE only 4, 2 and 4 months, so maybe we should just be home, keeping things easy." But then, when bed time rolls around, Judah looks at us and says "I just wish I could do this entire day over again. I just loved all of it." At that moment, I know that even though they are small, we're having a blast. Those rocks in their shoes, the flowers and the rain---you guys, those are just opportunities for memory makin'. This is setting a pattern that I hope will transfer to later in their lives. We like hanging out with them and going and doing fun stuff....even while they're small. The hike takes a little longer, we stop often, find sticks, look in the stream for fish and remind ourselves that they are kids. And it's so fun, so fun exploring with them!

So, we packed sandwiches. Actually, my husband did the sandwich making. His sandwiches are much yummier than mine. I'm a boring sandwich maker. You know, Ham and Cheese, PB&J... but not that guy. He chops onions, cucumbers, pre-melts the cheese on the bread ('cuz that's how he likes it) and his sandwiches rock. I keep telling him that I wish he made me one everyday.

The drive to the Ice Caves is a beautiful ride, that drifts in and out of forests, along rives and numerous camping spots. Basically, you just hop on the Mountain Loop Highway and enjoy the scenery until you get to the "Ice Caves" sign. Really, I can't over emphasis how beautiful that drive is. 
The trail was long, but very well kept. I'd actually say that if you wanted to, you could bring a stroller, although I wore Eliza and that worked best for us.
Along the trial, we saw many creeks and lots of snowy mountain views through the trees. It was so beautiful and peaceful out there!

The trail also had nice little benches along the way that were perfect for this tired 2 year old to take a load off.

 See that big white patch of snow in the distance? That's where we were headed!
One of the highlights of our trip was the wild huckleberries. Along the trail, there were a TON of huckleberries! I wish I would have known and brought a bucket with me. They were so good!

 About an hour later, getting closer!

When you reach the Ice Caves, the air coming out of the caves is super cold, similar to that of a freezer. It's amazing to stand there, with the hot August air hitting you and also the freezing Ice Cave air blowing towards you as well. I haven't ever felt that before!

My heart still feels full from experiencing this yesterday. These kids and that man.....we're so NOT perfect, but goodness sakes, I love them. After we played around at the caves for a bit, it started to rain and so we headed back down. Our walk back to the van was soaking wet, like the kind of rain that sends waterfalls down your forehead. Everyone did so well though- even Eliza who was snuggled close to me, warm and mostly dry.

When we got back to the van, we were all smiles, as we peeled soaking wet clothes off of our kids.
So, if you're in Washington State, go experience this. Don't wait until your kids are "older" to go have fun as a family. Now is the time, you guys. It takes practice and definitely a sense of humor, but it's so worth it!

Sharing one of the best things I've read lately: My Parents were at the Circus when I was Born: A beautiful story about adoption and life, it's definitely worth a few minutes.

Want to learn more about the Ice Caves? Go check out this site, it'll get you all set up.


  1. The Ice Caves hike is so great for little kids. I think Cade was about four months old in the front pack the first time we went. We brought Kennedy in the backpack, but she did a lot of walking.
    One of our favorite memories was hiking in Darrington in the pouring down rain in July right before we left for Korea.
    This year we took the kids up Sauk Mountain to watch the sunset right before we left WA; they're pretty good hikers now. Still haven't gotten around to posting those pics!

  2. This is SO COOL! We have a few great places around here to go hiking. This post makes me wanna go. However, the fact that I'm four weeks from having a baby makes me just wanna sit here and look at your pictures. Lol We'll see which part of me wins today!

    Your pictures really are beautiful. So are your kiddies. :)


Thank you for your comments. I read every single one of them and they always make me smile.


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