What’s on the Design Wall

I am feeling pleased as there is something on the design wall to talk about.

In my 09/23/2016 post, The Library Stack (and a little EPP), I mentioned that I was feeling a little stuck and had not done any creating lately (“tierneycreates” without the “creates” part…).

Well Monday I was feeling inspired and continued working on the piece I first shared in my post Make Do Quilt Challenge. Continuing my ongoing series: What’s on the Design Wall, I present where I am at on my piece, tentatively titled: Making-Do:

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It’s not the best photo as I took it with low light. It is also still very much “in progress”.

I was feeling frustrated it at one point, not knowing where it was going. Then I remembered something one of my mentors, Jean Wells Keenan, said during one of her classes (paraphrased): – Even though you may not be happy with an art quilt and want to give up, you have to keep on pushing through and see where it takes you.

This is very true. The collaborative piece, Abandoned Water Structure, that was recently purchased by the City of Seattle (see post Seattle Public Utilities’ Portable Works Collection) was an art quilt that I actually gave up on and tossed aside. I later picked it back up and kept working on it starting with a late night marathon design and piecing session.

So I am hoping Making-Do turns out to be something interesting!  Next time I share an update, I might even take a better photo…


POSTSCRIPT

Monday I went for another hike up Pilot Butte (see my Category “Pilot Butte Adventures” for previous posts on my adventures) and I started laughing as soon as I arrived at the start. They had this sign posted:

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If you remember my post Monday, Again, my current time up Pilot Butte is not as good as the time for the record in the ages 95 & up category! So no I am not entering this year’s challenge…perhaps next year…

While walking up Pilot Butte, I took this panoramic photo of Bend Oregon and the surrounding area. If you are ever in Central Oregon, driving or hiking to the top of Pilot Butte for the 360 degree view of Central Oregon is a must!

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I hope you do not mind that I frequently link to previous posts. I consider my blog an ongoing conversation. 

Friday at the “Butte” in B&W

I have created a new Category – “Pilot Butte Adventures” if you would like to read about my other Pilot Butte walks or learn more about Pilot Butte.

Friday, Sept 2 I took the day off from work before the Labor Day weekend. It was a glorious 66 degree day, slightly overcast but with complex swirly clouds interspersed between swaths of impossibly blue sky (it is the only way I can describe the sky in Central Oregon – impossibly blue). I decided it was a perfect day for a Pilot Butte hike.

Playing with my smartphone camera, this time I took photos in B&W during my hike up and down the Butte:

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There is something mystical about this image

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The flag blowing in the wind at the base of Pilot Butte

It’s amazing how striking images are when you take away the color. The contrast between objects in a photo is so significant in black & white. I use the B&W (mono or tonal) on my smartphone when I am trying to determine if I have too many mediums in a quilt I am designing. Taking away the color shows the value (light, medium, dark) of a fabric more clearly. Next Pilot Butte hike I plan to play more with B&W photography.

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photo credit: Amazon.com

Besides taking photos during Friday’s hike, I listened an awesome audiobook, Spin (2010) by Robert Charles Winston. I am taking a break from nonfiction audiobooks and enjoying a Science Fiction audiobook!

This book is actually a “re-listen” as I first listened to it 5-6 years ago. It is an incredible tale of childhood friendship, longing and loyalty woven into an engaging and spectacular and unique apocalyptic tale. I forgot how much I enjoy being immersed in a well written fictional story!

Although this is a fictional tale, it does touch upon what I perceive as many truths about human nature and the different ways people would react to an end-of-the-world scenario.

The hypothetical science is fascinating and very accessible. I am glad I forgot how its ends and it is fun to rediscover this gem!


POSTSCRIPT

I am getting too influenced my reading all the wonderful blogs I follow. I find myself interested in English Paper Piecing (future post about that and yes I bought a book and a hole punch to make hexagons!) as well as working on a Sampler Quilt (yes a future post about that) and making a Delectable Mountain quilt. I am also tempted to start painting someday and pick up drawing again (which I have not seriously done since I was in Junior High School).

Hmm…following a bunch of blogs by creative individuals is just as bad (or good) as Pinterest binging! It must be the “Crafter ADHD” in me – I see it and I want to do it too!

Hope you are having a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

The Fruits of My Neighborhood, Part III

P E A C H E S !

We have peaches in the neighborhood! Okay, well in the neighborhood next to my neighborhood.

This post a follow up to the posts:

I am not sure where to begin – should I start with the crabapple harvest, the additional apple tree, the pears, or the peach tree? Okay, I know where I will start: with a little update from the previous posts on the fruit I have “liberated” from neglected trees in neighborhood I ride my bike and walk around.

Sour Cherries

In the post The Fruits of My Neighborhood, Part II, I share my discovery of a sour cherry tree in the neighborhood I walk and bike in. The lovely blogger from Zippy Quilts advised that I should confirm these are actually cherries and not ornamental berries from a similar looking tree.

We took at sample of one of the cherries to our local nursery which specializes in native plants and they verified that the fruit was indeed a sour cherry. As mentioned in the same post, I have them bagged and frozen for future use.

A friend gave me a great recipe for individual cherry pies;  so that plan is to make up little pies in dough and freeze them, then bake a couple at a time. I am also thinking of making little hand pies: Mmmmm – cherry hand pies!

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Pears

In the same post I mentioned there are pear trees in the neighborhood that I am waiting for their fruit to ripen. My friend Michele posted that pears ripen off the tree and shared this informative link:  http://www.oregonfresh.net/education/commodities/pears.php

I used this link to determine when to pull the pears of the tree (I had pulled some tester pears off too soon; they never ripened off the tree and I had to compost them) and I am hoping the latest batch of pears will ripen soon on my dining room table!

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More Apples!

In addition to pears in the photo above, you will see some apples (and some peaches which I will discuss a little later).

In my post The Fruits of My NeighborhoodI share my discovery of a green apple tree and the subsequent delicious apple pie I made from my haul (I picked enough neglected green apples for my neighbor, who loves to bake, to also make a pie).

Well I discovered another neglected apple tree (at a very neglected looking and perhaps vacant house). I am not sure what variety of apple but they taste quite delicious with my morning oatmeal! I was only able to liberate a couple apples as most were rotted on the ground or had worms. Too bad, there were some beautiful apples on the ground.

Here is the current fruit bowl on my dining table filled with “liberated” pears, apples and peaches (yes I took this photo with my new Instagram app now that I have embraced Instagram…”welcome to the 21st century Tierney”):

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Crabapples

I was on a bike ride last week, and came upon this sign attached to a tree:

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Oh my – Someone wants help liberating their fruit!!! How could I refuse?!?!

Luckily I had my “fruit liberating sack” (copyright pending, ha!) with me and I proceeded to fill up it up with delicious ripe crabapples. While I was filling up my bag, the homeowner came out and chatted with me for a while.

She was so happy I was taking the fruit and I shared with her my adventures of “liberating” other fruit in the neighborhood and pie making. She told me of the delicious crabapple butter she and her Mom made last year with the crabapples; but she could not keep up with them this year and was hoping they would not just go to waste.

I told her – “I am here for you!” which got quite the laugh from the homeowner.

Below is my bike filled with crabapples in my “fruit liberating sack”:

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I got enough for myself and my neighbor who likes to bake/cook. I researched online how to freeze them (Crabapples: University of Alaska Extension); and froze two (2) large bags of crabapples for our Fall cooking adventures (you can freeze for up to 3 months).

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And Finally, Peaches

Imagine going on a walk with your dogs in the morning and you can pluck a ripe peach from a tree and munch on it as you walk. Is this a scene from the State of Georgia? No this was my morning walk in Central Oregon!

I did not know we could even grow peaches in Central Oregon. Our high desert hot and dry climate does not remotely seem like the correct climate for peaches. But then what do I know of horticulture?

Here is the lovely peach tree, with peaches falling from the tree as they ripen:

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And here is my haul of peaches – not sure if I want to make a peach cobbler or just enjoy them each day as they get riper and riper (and juicier and juicier). Funny thing as I was never really interested in store bought peaches. But peaches right off the tree – fruit heaven!

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What’s next in my “Fruit Liberation” quests? Well I have spotted some plums and possibly some nectarine like fruit that will be coming into season in the upcoming weeks.

The interesting thing is that before embracing simpler living I would never have been interested in “liberating” fruit from neglected fruit trees. Truthfully, in the past I did not eat that much fruit in my daily diet. Terry the Quilting Husband and I live a much healthier existence since changing our lifestyle a couple years ago (though it was a process that began with moving to Central Oregon in 2005). But that is another future post on our “Minimalism Journey”


POSTSCRIPT

Instead of a “Monday at the Butte” (see my previous posts on hiking Pilot Butte), yesterday I did a “Sunday at the Butte” with my friend Jenny. We hiked Pilot Butte and then went for coffee and pastries! We figured we had earned our pastries!

Here are a couple photos – the summit of Pilot Butte (I never tire of this view); the selection of pastries at the local bakery/coffee shop; and a beautiful color combination on the table we sat:

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Enjoy your week and here is a sign I came across at a tea shop a couple of weeks ago as a closing “food for thought”:

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Back to the Butte

Central Oregon is a geological wonderland and one of its marvels is Pilot Butte. It is like having a “mini mountain” to hike in the middle of Bend, Oregon. At its summit is a splendid 360-degree view of nearly the entire Central Oregon region.

I have a series of posts on my Pilot Butte adventures:

Monday on the “Butte”

The Monday, Post “Yard Bark Mulching”

Monday, Again

You Got to Start Somewhere

Monday 8/15/16, I returned to my Monday hikes on Pilot Butte. I took a hiatus and started going on long bike rides instead as my knees were growing unhappy with the steep vertical ascent and decent on Pilot Butte. I missed Pilot Butte terribly and finally returned.

My current audiobook inspired to return to hiking Pilot Butte – Trespassing Across America: One Man’s Epic, Never-Done-Before (and Sort of Illegal) Hike Across the Heartland (2016) by Ken Ilgunas. Please see the Postscript section of this post for more on this book.

It was not my best hike up the Butte as I needed to take a break during the climb. Luckily Pilot Butte has awesome benches with breathtaking views along the path.

Here is today’s hike in photos:

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I am back!

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Two options: the paved road up or the dirt/nature trail

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I chose the “Nature Trail” which was quite dusty with the hot dry weather

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As you make your ascent you enjoy sweeping views of the region

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And views of Cascade Mountain peaks

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My first bench rest area

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I skipped this bench near the summit, I had my momentum going

At the summit, I discovered these new educational/informational panels:IMG_4463

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I took the road down

My knees are a tiny bit sore, but I am feeling quite pleased that I was able to return to hiking Pilot Butte!


POSTSCRIPT

My current read/listen

I had committed to trying to read/listen to some fiction. I borrowed a “beach read” from the library. That was not a good idea – I became very impatient with the predictable storyline. I gave up on the book.

While trying to figure out what to listen to/read next the audiobook Trespassing Across America: One Man’s Epic, Never-Done-Before (and Sort of Illegal) Hike Across the Heartland (2016) by Ken Ilgunas, became available.

So far this synopsis on amazon.com summarizes the book well:

Told with sincerity, humor, and wit, Trespassing Across America is both a fascinating account of one man’s remarkable journey along the Keystone XL pipeline and a meditation on climate change, the beauty of the natural world, and the extremes to which we can push ourselves—both physically and mentally.
 

This book seems like to perfect book for a long walk or a hike. I loved listening to his hiking adventures and challenges while climbing and descending Pilot Butte.

The book reminds me of a Bill Bryson novel (A Walk in the Woods, Notes from a Small Island): in that addition to sharing his adventures trekking across the Canadian and US plains, he shares the geologic and cultural issues of the regions he travels through as well as its history.

Goodreads

A couple of years ago my friend Michele introduced me to Goodreads, the social network for avid book readers. At the time I was still “social networking” skittish (it took awhile for friends to convince me to join Facebook) so I signed up but never really did anything with it.

Recently my blogging buddy Laura has gotten me interested in rediscovering Goodreads. My public profile name is tierneycreates on Goodreads and I am going to start posting all the book reviews I have posted in my blog over the past 3+ years onto my Goodreads profile.

So feel free to connect with tierneycreates on Goodreads if you like to see my reviews. I will also post reviews of my favorite fiction books before I started on my non-fiction obsession.

A Few Random Thoughts on Social Networking

Even though I am a blogger, I still have not fully embraced social networking.

I am signed up on Twitter as tierneycreates, but I am not really into tweeting (I have it set up that my tierneycreates blog posts are automatically tweeted onto Twitter in case anyone wants to follow me there).

I am signed up with Instagram but I have yet to figure out its purpose. I do enjoy Pinterest and someday I will put more effort into organizing my Pinterest boards!

I like to connect, but I do not want to be over-connected…

The Monday, Post “Yard Bark Mulching”

This morning I read in a WordPress blogging forum, that you should always have an engaging title to your  blogpost. An engaging title will entice existing readers and potential new readers to click on the link and read the post.

What could be more exciting and engaging to read about than yard bark mulch? I am bristling with excitement just typing these thrilling words:

Y-A-R-D  B-A-R-K  M-U-L-C-H.

No. There is nothing even remotely exciting about putting mulch in your yard.

No worries, this post is not about yard bark mulch; it an update on what happened with this week’s visit to Pilot Butte for my weekly hike (see my previous post Monday on the “Butte”). Okay I do provide a little background on the yard bark mulch situation just so you can understand why I chose a different Pilot Butte experience today.

WALKING AROUND THE BUTTE (NOT UP THE BUTTE)

We had 6 yards of hemlock bark mulch delivered on Thursday. We were convinced (or deluded) that we could,  by Saturday, get all that mulch spread around the front and back yards of our house (and still be able to walk). I guess we thought our bodies had suddenly become the bodies of athletic 18 year olds with extensive recent manual labor experience…

Several years ago we “xeriscaped” – removed our front lawn and planted native plants and grasses.

In the Central Oregon’s high desert, if you want to grow anything, you have to use irrigation. Xeriscaping allows you to use less water/irrigation to keep up your yard. We receive little rainfall in Central Oregon (hence the beautiful blue skies). This limits what will grow in Central Oregon without irrigation/watering.

Bark mulching our xeriscaped yard helps it to maintain moisture (and look more aesthetically pleasing). Every couple of years we have to refresh the mulch.

If you would like to learn more about xeriscaping and creating a low water consuming landscape you can check out Oregon.gov’s online publication: Introduction to Xeriscaping in the High Desert. (Central Oregon is known as the “high desert” as we are at 3600+ ft above sea level elevation and we have a low average yearly rainfall).

When we lived in Seattle, Washington, where there is plenty of rainfall, I never appreciated gardening. Now I live in a land where growing anything is challenging and I am fascinated with gardening and landscaping.

As a bonus to the challenge of growing plants in Central Oregon, we are a geologic volcanic landscape (No, no, no – NO live volcanos – my blogging won’t suddenly be cut off by lava flow…but we do have many extinct volcanos here).

Our soil is coarse, has a sandy texture and tends to be very sterile with minimal organic matter (OSU “Central Oregon Climate”). Central Oregon is not for “gardening sissies”!

So where am I going with all this information? Well this is all relates to what happened today during my weekly hike on Pilot Butte. I was extremely sore from laying down bark mulch over the past 3 days, that my knees told me I may not hike up Pilot Butte today.

With some tedious negotiation I was about to convince my knees (and my sore back) that they could WALK AROUND Pilot Butte.

I didn’t want to just abandon my weekly Pilot Butte experience (every Monday for the past 4 weeks) so I thought “as long as I walk around the base of Pilot Butte that would still count as doing the Butte”!

Here are photos from the ground level of Pilot Butte as I walked approximately 2.5 miles in a loop at the base of Pilot Butte. My knees are not speaking to me right now but I think by tomorrow we will make up with each other.


The Loop – I did 8+ laps around the path while listening of course to an audiobook! Nearly 2.5 miles.

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The Day – another beautiful blue sky day with a couple solitary clouds here and there.

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The Walk – photos from walking around the loop to give you a feel of the view from the base of Pilot Butte.

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BONUS – some of our beautiful volcanic rocky and pumice soil that I get to try and grow things in!

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Enjoy your week!

 

Monday on the “Butte”

If you are new to my blog, for the past three Mondays I have hiked Pilot Butte after an 8 month hiatus (see posts You Got to Start SomewhereMonday, and Monday, Again for more background).

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

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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

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3) The Summit Drive Trail – the trail alongside Summit Road

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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!

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Another impossibly blue Central Oregon sky (with a couple fluffy clouds) as I hiked up the Butte.

Postscript

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!

Monday, Again

I walked/climbed/hiked Pilot Butte (see previous post “Monday“) for the 3rd Monday in a row today.  I was fairly pleased with myself, as I again went up and back down Pilot Butte in 45 minutes.

However, on the way back to my car, I passed by the Pilot Butte Challenge board and noticed the records, by age group, of the fastest ascent/descent of Pilot Butte. I see in the 95 & up age range, someone walked up and down Pilot Butte in 26.51 minutes.

Yes, 95 & up. Now, my new goal is to be able to at least walk up and back down Pilot Butte in 26:51 minutes. Maybe I can even walk faster than that “95 & up” year old person someday and beat their record! Maybe someday I can even beat the time of the record holder in the “90 – 94” age group! (If I am going to dream, I might as well dream big! Ha!)

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Here are some photos from my Pilot Butte hike today to distract you from the fact that my time was nearly 20 minutes slower than someone “95 & up” (maybe they were a retired Olympian or something; or maybe a space alien…).

Monday

As you can see, I am playing with my blog template again. Why does WordPress give me so many interesting options for my blog template? How can I ever be happy just sticking with the same template, ha! I welcome your feedback on the latest look to the tierneycreates blog: “Chalkboard” template.


Happy Monday to you all! A couple photos and updates to share with you as follow ups to various previous posts:


Creative Inspiration: The Scents of Spring

The flowering crabapple tree is in full bloom in front of my house and unbelievably, deliciously, inspirationally fragrant. When I step out from front door I am immediately enveloped with this incredible scent of Spring and the sounds of busy bees buzzing around the crabapple tree blooms!

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Update: Ohio

I appreciate all the feedback on this post. I did decide to orientate the piece vertically.

It is now with Betty Anne Guadalupe to work her quilt magic.


Twigs Gallery Show Photos

I recently learned that my piece, made from discards from another quilter’s project, We Will Not Be Discarded, has sold in the Twigs Gallery Collaboration show!

Very exciting – this is my first time selling my quilting art at a gallery show!

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If you would like to read more about the story behind this piece, please see the post What’s on the Design Wall: “We Will Not Be Discarded!”.


You Got to Start Somewhere

I walked Pilot Butte again today, this time it took me 46 minutes to go up to the summit and back down, 4 minutes off my time last Monday (when I returned hiking our “mini mountain” in town for the first time after an 8 month hiatus after my foot injury).

The 360 degree views of Bend, Oregon and Central, Oregon continue to be breathtaking on another impossibly blue sky day here (we have a lot of impossibly blue sky beautiful days).

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In the post You Got to Start Somewhere I shared that I listened to the audiobook Become Who You Were Born to Be by Brian Souza while hiking Pilot Butte. Today I continued my listen of this inspirational audiobook while hiking the Butte.

I wanted to share a wonderful quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson from this book which brought a smile to my face and a small tear to my eye from its beauty and truth.

What is Success?

“To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded.” 

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Enjoy the rest of your week!

I am sure before the end of the week I will have more thoughts to share with you from all the thoughts that constantly swirl around in my head. Perhaps they will even have to do with quilting! (Smile).

You Got to Start Somewhere

Yesterday, 04/11/16, I hiked Pilot Butte, a cinder cone butte (extinct volcano) in Central Oregon. This was my first time hiking “the Butte” since issues with my foot last Fall.

It felt like a great accomplishment since at times during my recovery, I struggled with just returning to regular walks around my neighborhood, much less being able to hike again.

My History with the “Butte”

Prior to my foot injury last fall, I regularly hiked Pilot Butte. In addition to hiking Pilot Butte, I had started going to short runs around my neighborhood. I felt in really great shape.

Central Oregon is a volcanic region (no active volcanos) and its geography is peppered with remnants of its volcanic origins, such as Pilot Butte.

Pilot Butte, according to Wikipedia, has an elevation of 4142 feet  above sea level (rising 500 feet from Central Oregon which is 3500+ feet above sea level). From the top of Pilot Butte, the entire city of Bend, Oregon is visible, as are several of the major peaks of the Oregon Cascades Mountain range (Three Sisters, Broken Top, Mount Bachelor, etc).

When I moved from Seattle, WA to Central Oregon over 10 years ago, I had to adjust to the high altitude (Seattle is at sea level). Central Oregon’s climate is called the “high desert” and resembles areas of Colorado. In the late Spring, Summer, and early Fall it can be very dry and dusty. (Central Oregon averages about 12 inches of rainfall per year, the US average of rain is 37 inches according to Sperling’s Best Places).

When I lived in Seattle, I walked a lot and considered myself in fairly decent shape for long walks. I also went hiking and biking in Seattle. After moving to Central Oregon, I remember my first time to hike Pilot Butte – I was so thirsty (the very dry air) and was easily fatigued. I was not used to the altitude!

Persistence pays off and in time my body acclimated to the altitude and I got better at hiking Pilot Butte. Before my foot injury last fall, I could hike Pilot Butte without stopping for any breaks. The hike is only 1 mile up and 1 mile down but there is a gain of 500 feet of elevation, most of it fairly steeply uphill. Area athletes use Pilot Butte for training and there is even an annual competition of fast run up and down the Butte.

The views are amazing, you wind around a continually elevating 360 degree loop until you get to the summit.

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View of the city of Bend, Oregon while hiking the Butte

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Starting Somewhere

My right foot was a disaster last Fall, and my left foot was beginning to have difficulty. After several medical appointments (including an urgent care appointment as I thought I had a stress fracture when I work up one morning and could not walk on my right foot), I was diagnosed with Plantar fasciitis and a Morton’s neuroma.

Suddenly I could no longer hike, go on runs, or even walk my dogs. I ended up in a walking boot on my right foot for a couple weeks. After getting orthotics, home physical therapy exercises and starting on slow short walks, eventually I was able to return to walking my dogs.

I was even able to go on a long fairly flat hike with a friend. However I was scared to return to Pilot Butte.

I woke up on Monday morning 04/11/16 (I have Mondays off from work) and decided just to do it.

I was going to return to hiking Pilot Butte, even if I was the slowest, saddest looking hiker going up the Butte. I had to start somewhere. 

I am not sure if I was the slowest, but I was fairly slow, stopping as I needed for breaks. One guy on his second of third time looping past me (he was running the Butte), told me to “hang in there”.

I timed myself and it took 50 minutes, which is not bad as when I was in better shape, I could go the up and down hike in 35 – 40 minutes.

Postscript: Audiobook Inspiration

While hiking the Butte, I listened to the audiobook Become Who You Were Born to Be by Brian Souza.  This book is filled with wonderful, inspiring stories of individuals who overcame unbelievable obstacles to achieve their dreams.

One of the stories the author shares in the audiobook, is that of the polar explorer Ernest Shackleton and his team’s survival for over a year on the ice-bound Antarctic seas in the early 1990s. He and members of his team successfully hiked 32 miles over frozen mountainous terrain in 36 hours (if they stopped to rest they would die of hyperthermia) to make it to a whaling station to be rescued.

I figured I could hike a mile up and back down a “miniature mountain” on on a beautiful Spring day after listening to that story!

This audiobook was a very inspirational listen as I convinced myself to continue to the top of Pilot Butte!

“By endurance we conquer.” – Ernest Shackleton