Today I returned for the 4th Monday in a row (I am off work on Mondays).
The Route Up and Back Down
On my previous hikes, I timed myself to see if I could return to my previous time (prior to my foot injury last fall); and as I discovered last week – eventually beat the record of a “95 & up” year old posted on the Pilot Butte Challenge board.
Today I took another approach: I did not time myself but leisurely hiked up the Butte and then back down via a different way.
Pilot Butte has in general three (3) standards routes up the Butte to the summit:
1) The Nature Trail – a groomed dirt path
2) Summit Road – a road that is open part of the year (late Spring to early Fall) for cars to drive up to the summit
3) The Summit Drive Trail – the trail alongside Summit Road
On the previous 3 Mondays, Summit Road was closed to cars. So I hiked up the Nature Trail and then walked back down via Summit Drive Trail. When it is closed to cars, you can walk in the center of Summit Drive Road or stay on the trail at the edge.
Today, Pilot Butte was reopened to cars so I tried something different: I hiked up the Nature Trail and then back down the Nature Trail.
I enjoyed, as usual saying “hello” to and smiling at other hikers as they passed. I notice a difference in “hiker friendliness” depending on what route they take up the Butte. Those coming down the Nature Trail while you are hiking up it are very friendly. Those coming up the Summit Drive Trail/Summit Road as you are going down the Butte via this route, are not as friendly. They do not make eye contact as much as they seemed more focused (or perhaps exhausted).
Both were equally rough on my knees, but I am going to adopt the Nature Trail as my new standard way down the Butte!
Lucky to Live Here!
As I was approaching the summit of the Butte, I met a women who was taking photos with professional looking photography equipment. I stopped and chatted a while with her – she was visiting from out of town and she was amazed at how beautiful it was hiking up Pilot Butte and how beautiful it is in Central Oregon. She said she could not stop taking endless photos!
I was overcome with a feeling of how lucky I am to live in Central Oregon!
I also walked into (I am not running up the Butte yet…) another “person of color” like myself. There are not a lot of “people of color” in Central Oregon, so it is always a treat for me to see Central Oregon getting more “colorful”!
My family who lives on the East Coast (I am originally from New York) asked me, when I had decided to move to Central Oregon over 10 years ago, why I wanted to move to a place so “culturally isolated”like Central Oregon.
I replied I was moving here to “integrate it”!
My perspective is: We are all earthlings and I enjoy living with my fellow earthlings in this beautiful place!
I listened to Arianna Huffington’s book – The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time – while hiking the Butte. I am enjoying it is as much I enjoyed her previous book: Thrive: the third metric to redefining success and creating a life of well-being, wisdom, and wonder.
The author shares a wonderful Ralph Waldo Emerson quote while discussing dealing with the worries that plague us as we lie in bed at night:
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day and you shall begin it well and serenely.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I love this quote! I am going to keep it in mind when I go to bed each night!