We had a fun one night camping trip this weekend past Granite Falls at a campground called Verlot. We met up with 3 other families who had spent the previous night there. After arriving at the camp site and getting settled in we headed for a 1 mile hike up to the Ice Caves. The weather was just perfect for a hike, with a few clouds, blue sky and sun. The Ice Caves were a magnificent sight and the kids had lots of fun running around, playing in the ice and eating lunch. I couldn't believe how every step you took closer to them it got colder and colder and colder. It was like intense AC outside. Then the wind would mix up the warm and cold air making a creepy feeling in the air. After playing and eating lunch we all made it back down the trail and to the camp site safe and sound.
Shortly after arriving at our site, sirens from the nearby volunteer fire station went off which were followed by aid car, after aid car, after search and rescue, helicopter, etc. All of us were very concerned and curious about what could be happening. A trip to the nearby local corner store told us that an accident had happened at the Ice Caves. Later that evening a stop from the Sheriff informed us that an 11 year old had been killed at the Ice Caves that afternoon. It turns out that this terrible tragedy happened within a very short window of us leaving the Ice Caves, we think about 15 minutes after we left. We were all struck by this loss very deeply and extremely sad that this happened. Having just been there it really hit home how we could have been witness to such a terrible event or how easily it could have been one of us. That evening around bedtime it started to rain unexpectedly. To me it felt like tears coming from the sky.
In Memory of Grace Tam. Our prayers and thoughts go out to her family.
Besides this terrible event that happened, we had a fabulous time talking with friends, eating, watching the kids play and seeing Shane soak up the benefits of camping (no teeth brushing or hair brushing, sleeping in a sleeping bag in a tent, playing in the water, running around with the big kids and just plain getting dirty).
Starting off on the hike.
All the kiddos.
First sight of the Ice Caves.
To the right of the main two caves. The small cave in the middle is the one that collapsed and killed the girl. We had eaten our lunch at the base of this hill.
Standing in the entrance of the largest Ice Cave. Which I now wouldn't even go that close after what happened.
Playing in the Stillaguamish River. We had a portion of the river go right behind our camp site, but I didn't get any pictures of the kids playing over there. The site was beautiful, private and an awesome place to play.
Kenny asked Lucas at one point if he wanted to be thrown in the river. Lucas said NO, but Shane said Yes, Yes, Yes! For about 10 minutes Kenny threw Shane in over and over again. He just loved it to my surprise. He came out of the water reluctantly shivering and his little bottom was all red from hitting the bottom of the river.
Warming up in Daddy's shirt and watching the big kids play in the water.
This was a little swing someone had rigged up near our camp site. Of course any swing is a favorite of Shane's.
A little hike by our site along the river.
Mr. Huckleberry: One of the first things Julie said to Shane after we arrived was that the huckleberries were yummy and showed him a bush of them. He then became a huckleberry scout. We did need to go over no eating anything with out Mommy and Daddy telling him it was okay, but other then that he enjoyed picking those little sour berries.