Creative Inspiration, Outside Adventures!

Hiking the Highlands

No, alas, not the Scottish Highlands. This post is about a hike on the Cascade Highlands Trail in Central Oregon. Not as glorious as hiking in the Scottish Highlands but still quite lovely (and a significantly less expense trip – no airfare or accommodations required!)


I do not work on Mondays and once a month I’ve been going on a hike (followed by a yummy lunch) with my friend Laurie and her Bernese Mountain Dog Luna. I thought about creating a category for these posts called “Adventures with Laurie & Luna” but I decided to create a new blog category called Outside Adventures! which includes my various solo Pilot Butte hikes and any other interesting outdoor adventures.

Laurie who is new-ish to Central Oregon (I think she has lived here between 1 – 2 years) thought it would be a great idea to explore Central Oregon together by going on hikes we have not been on before and trying out restaurants we have not dine at before (or at least one of us has not tried before). We plan one at least once a month.

Hiking the Cascade Highlands

Here are photos from the hike (which were more breathtaking in person than the photos capture):


Good smells!


I am also adding this post to my blog post category Creative Inspiration as there was much potential art quilt inspiration on this hike!

Bend, Oregon (not that I am encouraging any more people to move to Central, Oregon – ha!) has over 44 miles of urban trails, where you can go hiking without leaving town! Here is a 2005 (when I first moved here!) article from the Bend Bulletin (and I bet there are more than 44 miles of trails now): Get outdoors in town: Bend’s urban trails system allows for hiking without leaving town.

Lunch Time

Laurie and I both enjoy yummy food and finding new places to enjoy yummy food. After the hike we went to a place we’ve never tried before, Chow, and it was quite delicious.


We decided to split a crab cake sandwich and each had our own special sides – I selected the most exquisite tasting sautéed (and finished with truffle oil) Brussels sprouts!


34 thoughts on “Hiking the Highlands”

    1. Thank you and it was beautiful! Glad you could virtually join me (though hopefully you brought a sweater/jacket as it is a bit cold here than where you live) 🙂


    1. I am embarrassed that I have not explored all miles and miles of trails after living here over 12 years. I was just going to the same ole places. Luckily my new friend wants to explore new places! 🙂


      1. Sometimes new eyes are just what you need, and here you have them – hers, because she is new to the place, and you, because you are exploring something new, too. Love it (I love to run and be outside on trails as you are describing and I would LOVE to see more of your adventures outdoors, just saying!)

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  1. This looks great. You’re right about the Highlands – they are becoming very expensive to visit and stay in, and we live just down the road! Skye particularly is becoming a victim of too much tourism in the summer months.

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    1. See – I helped your tourism problem by visiting MY Highlands instead – ha! Thanks for that perspective for someone who really knows the Highlands! You are so lucky to live there (at least from the perspective of someone who does not live there) 🙂

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      1. Lol – I class myself as one of the tourists – we’re actually a few hundred miles away, but have visited there often over the years. In some respects Skye is a self confessed victim of its own publicity, the internet – in the summer months the infrastructure becomes overloaded – rural crofting communities weren’t designed for the influx they now get; steep narrow roads struggle to cope with huge campervans and the like, but the economy is fuelled by tourists. Guess the place will survive, but the atmosphere will not be as charming as it was twenty years ago! Wish I could visit your highlands!

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  2. Now you may not have gone to Scotland, but your title put Brigadoon songs in my head for the rest of the day.

    I love exploring my own area as if I were a tourist. And love the idea of trying a new restaurant each month, new to at least one of you. At least that way one of you knows the quality. 🙂

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    1. Thank you and they were the best Brussels sprouts I ever had. My hiking/lunch partner was chatting with me during lunch but I think I missed part of the conversation while I was eating the Brussels sprouts! 🙂


    1. Oh no now I am going to get in trouble with the Oregon Board of Keeping People Out – ha! I keep luring new people to Oregon – ha! 🙂
      Oh Luna got a dog biscuit and she was happy 🙂

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  3. I think I was meant to live in the mountains and would love chances to hike there regularly. I’m looking forward to my visit to PNW in July. Besides Son’s wedding (which obviously has first priority!) we haven’t finalized our travel plans. Unfortunately, Sisters show will not be on the agenda, as it is on the wrong weekend! Maybe another time.

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    1. If you are going to be in the Central Oregon area at any more point let me know – it would be great to connect my blogging buddy 🙂
      I think you will have a wonderful visit to PNW and hope you get to spend some time in Seattle and go to Pike Place Market, etc. Outside of Seattle there are some AMAZING hikes! Maybe even go an hour to Mount Rainer (my favorite mountain of all time) and hike around the base of that – it is glorious!

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      1. We hiked Mt Rainier in 2015 and are eager to visit again. Pike Place, YEAH some fun! Seattle — we’ve had a great time there. This time we’re more likely to go south than north of Tacoma. Lots to see and do. I won’t mind moving out there some day…. 🙂

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  4. Thanks for taking us along the hike, Tierney. How neat that you have a monthly hike + lunch get-together. I’ll bet your canine Bernese mountain friend feels right at home on those beautiful high-altitude trails! The air looks very clean and clear, and I’m inhaling vicariously through your photos. You’re lucky to have so much natural beauty right at your doorstep. 🙂

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    1. Thank you and Luna is to happy going on hikes! It will be warming up here and eventually by mid summer she may not enjoy the hikes as much, she does like the cold and higher altitudes. The air is clean and clear, sometimes I worry about all the people now moving here and more cars on the road leading to less clean air, but for now I can still escape to the mountains and have tasty air 🙂

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  5. Tierney, How awesome to have Mondays off and to have hiking buddies. I know what you mean when it comes to outdoor photos not looking as spectacular as they should. Always a struggle. Cool restaurant. Lunch looked very delicious! 🙂

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