Mercer's Outing to Mount St. Helens

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Team:
Asa Mercer Middle School
Date:
Saturday, June 1, 2019
Trip Types:
Car Camping, Caving, Hiking
Plan:
We will spend the first day on the north side of Mount St. Helens, where we will visit
Johnston Ridge Observatory and hike the Boundary Trail. We can make this hike as long or
as short as we want. We will camp at Seaquest State Park on Saturday night. We will spend
the second day on the south side, and visit Ape Cave where we will do a 1.5 mile hike
through a lava tube, and visit Lava Canyon, which is a 1.5 mile loop.
Report:
We met the students at Mercer Middle School at 8 am on Saturday morning. The drive to the observatory was easy, and we had a fun time hiking around Johnston Ridge. We ate lunch after a short hike and then watch a movie about the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption. We left for Seaquest State Park around 2 pm.

Camping at Seaquest State Park worked perfectly - we had a big group site that was far enough away from other campers that the kids could run around and make some noise. The kids had a great time setting up their tents and choosing a spot, playing frisbee, and exploring the campground. We made burgers for dinner, we started a campfire, made some smore's, and taught fire safety skills

Sunday morning was relaxed - we had each kid break down their own campsite and collect any remaining trash. We left at approximately 10:15 am for Ape Cave. The cave hike was super fun, although we were down maybe one or two flashlights. We had lunch at a reservoir near Cougar, and headed home around 3 pm.
Suggestions:
No real issues! It is a lot of driving, and I would suggest splitting the kids into two cars if possible. We had a gear van and a passenger van. It seemed like a good idea in theory, although it was difficult for the two ICO leaders in the passenger van to contain the excitement of 11 rambunctious kids for multiple hours at a time.