Last weekend Theresa and I finally were able to make it up to Spirit Lake. Our mission had evolved from mere sightseeing to collecting water samples for the ASC microplastic project. I’ll have more on that in a journal entry soon. Afterwards we decided we might as well continue up NF-99 to the Windy Ridge Observation. On the way we stumbled on this view of Ape Canyon.

Believe me you want to check this place out if you ever have the chance. The view of the Mt. St. Helen caldron is spectacular.

Ape Canyon


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Behind the Photo

As mentioned before, we were headed toward the summit of St. Helens, when the sun broke through the clouds and spotted volcano, canyon floor and hillsides with this dramatic lighting.I was torn between shooting a close up of the mountain itself of pulling back and grabbing as much of the vista as possible.

Obviously I choose the latter. Mainly for the juxtaposition of the martian-like slopes of the volcano compared to green recovery of Ape Canyon.

Ape Canyon

Ape Canyon is a narrowing gorge sitting just to the northeast of Mount St. Helens. Apparently it eventually narrows to just 8’ across. But’s it’s what supposedly happened here in 1924 that really gets the imagination stirring.

According to a story that was widely run in Washington and Oregon newspapers at the time it was on a summer night in July, 1924 that a small cabin housing a group of miners came under attack by a gang of wild “apemen.” According to the five miners, all of whom survived the incident and seemed convinced of its facts, they were asleep when the attack started. Seemingly out of nowhere the cabin they had hand built began being hit by huge stones that were being thrown by “Mountain Devils” on all sides. The men began to shoot at the monsters and the attacks would cease only to start back up again minutes later.

Come daybreak, Fred Beck, left the cabin and spotted one of the bigfoot standing on the edge of Ape Canyon. Fred fired his rifle and claims to have watch the ‘ape’ tumble to the valley below but was never able to recover the body. Hmm….


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