Books, Music, Podcasts, Creative Inspiration, Outside Adventures!

Creative Inspiration: Pilot Butte Hike

This post is a continuation of two series of posts:

Monday, I went on my first 2017 Pilot Butte hike! Nearly a year ago, last Spring, I started back hiking our local “mini mountain”, Pilot Butte.

Every Pilot Butte hike I take photos, it is like I cannot control myself, even if I am taking the same photos over and over again!

Monday’s hike I experimented with taking both color and B&W photos of the same scenes. I shared one of my B&W photos with some friends, and my friend Lisa mentioned the photo below would be a great inspiration for a quilt:

The steps to the viewpoint at the summit of Pilot Butte.

A light bulb appeared above my head: my Pilot Butte photos could serve as inspiration for a future art quilt.

So I thought I would share some of the photos from Monday’s hike that I would consider “creative inspiration”:


You likely noticed, except for the photos of the steps, the photos above feature trees.

Hiking up Pilot Butte affords 360 degrees views of Central Oregon; and I took many photos that looked like this featuring the wonderful Cascade Mountain Range:


However I am not attracted to mountain landscape scenes for art quilting inspiration as I am to structures such as trees. I think trees are among the most magical organic structures on earth! (Check out previous posts featuring trees such as Creative Inspiration: Winter Trees and Creative Inspiration: Fall Foliage).

As much as I love the trees, I will likely give the steps photo priority as creative inspiration for a future art quilt, I love the composition:


To see more photos of the Pilot Butte hike in B&W check out my post from 09/04/16 – Friday at the ‘Butte’ in B&W.


Listen While I Walk

I always listen to an audiobook or podcast while I hike Pilot Butte.

On Monday I finished the last two episodes of a six-episode podcast – Missing Richard Simmons. This podcast explores the story behind the fitness guru and eccentric celebrity Richard Simmons’ disappearance in 2014. It is very interesting, I was completely drawn into the story by the middle of the first podcast.

Richard Simmons, whether you loved or hated him, helped and inspired a lot of people. This podcast gives you insight into his world from interviews from clients and friends.

“No tricks, gimmicks, special pills, special potions, special equipment. All it takes is desire and will.”  — Richard Simmons

I love podcasts, I cannot believe how many free podcasts there are to download off of iTunes – on so many topics!

Watch for the Wildlife

One more photo to close out this post – I love this sign at the base of Pilot Butte:


I have hiked Pilot Butte for nearly 12 years and luckily no cougar sightings for me. I hope my record of 0 cougar sightings stands.

I wonder if any new hiker to Pilot Butte sees this sign, turns around and gets back in the car!

20 thoughts on “Creative Inspiration: Pilot Butte Hike”

  1. I like the idea of using trees and landscapes as inspiration. And I have to say the cougar sign would probably make my hiking resolve wobble a little. But nowadays we have to warn people about everything, don’t we? I had some non-prescription tablets to help with insomnia a while ago and on the front it said ‘warning, may cause drowsiness’!!!

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    1. Thanks so much for your comments, they gave me a smile this morning. Yes I think our culture now requires excessive warnings on everything! That is hysterical the warning that the tablets to help you sleep warn they may cause drowsiness! The cougar sign always gives me a little pause but I do not go say 6:00 am in the morning when Pilot Butte might be empty. There are always plenty of other hikers (so the cougar can eat them first!) 🙂

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  2. Hey congrats on getting back to hiking! That must mean the weather has greatly improved. Woohoo! So glad you have never encountered a member of the cougar family. Best to keep it that way. Great photos. I like to take pictures of nature but I’ve never used them as inspiration for a quilt. Can’t wait to see how you turn the photo of the steps into an art piece. Happy quilting!

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    1. Thanks Cindy! Well if I were to ever run into a cougar on Pilot Butte, there would likely be no photo documentation as I would be busy trying to remember all those steps in the warning sign! That would be an interesting art quilt: Tierney Takes On Cougar 🙂

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  3. Your black and white photos are stunning. How lucky you are to have such a great space for hiking in your neighborhood! Speaking of hiking and wild animals, I recently listened to a riveting podcast about a hiker encountering wolves in Alaska. I think it was a Snap Judgement story (NPR). Be careful out there.

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    1. Oooh thanks for the podcast recommendation that sounds like a good listen while walking. I promise not to try and get cougars in next series of photos on my Pilot Butte Hike! Thanks for commenting and reading 🙂


  4. I am as much of a tree lover as you are, Tierney, so I really enjoy your beautiful tree photos. Trees/leaves often appear in my quilts. But I love cats so much that I might even call it a good day to see a cougar–in the distance! I have recently read (and really am taking the information to heart) The Better Brain Book by David Perlmutter. You are such a health advocate that this is probably old hat to you, but I have just discovered his books.

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    1. Hi Martha, thanks for your comments! The Better Brain Book sounds very interesting, thanks for the recommendation. Yes – trees – I remember seeing a photo of that incredible piece you did of a twisted tree and I am linking for the other reading your blog post on your Twisted Tree class – – wish I could have taken that class with you (but alas it is a bit of a drive to where you live – ha!)


  5. I’ve been missing your Butte posts! It’s beautiful there! I think trees are fascinating as well. Using the stairs as inspiration is a very creative idea! I can’t wait to see the finished product! Is the cougar sign new?

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    1. Thanks! I have missed posting about it because it meant I got myself up the Butte! The cougar sign has been there for many years, at least 5 or maybe the whole time. I must admit when I first started hiking it I was with other people and did not pay attention as much 🙂

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  6. The pictures are beautiful. What a lovely place. I think the sign would make me turn around. I live in Florida and while driving out I-4 stopped at a rest stop. The first thing I noticed was a huge sign warning of poisonous snakes. I decided I could wait to pee. 🙂

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  7. Hi Tierney! I saw your post on the Wise Craft Quilts group on FaceBook. I’ve enjoyed looking at your work and your outlook on life. I bookmarked your blog for future reading and inspiration. Thanks! 🙂

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