A Crafter's Life, Audiobooks and Podcasts, Outside Adventures!

A Beautiful Monday and Audiobook Delights

As it is nearly Monday again, I thought I should share photos from the beautiful Pilot Butte hike I took on Monday. I have shared numerous photos of Pilot Butte, our miniature mountain with a wonderful 360 degree view of Central Oregon and its surrounding Cascade Mountains, in previous posts in my series Pilot Butte Adventures.

Our weather in Central Oregon is all over the place – somedays snowy and cold, other days beautiful Spring weather. Monday was the latter and I went on a solo hike on Pilot Butte and listened to a wonderful audiobook. More on the audiobook and my other recent audiobooks a little later.

Pilot Butte

I’ve shared like a zillion photos of Pilot Butte in previous posts on my hikes, so I will just share a couple more below to give you a little taste of my experience.

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Headed up the Butte
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Near the top, taking in the panoramic views
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Headed down the Butte and of course some really fit Central Oregon Senior Citizen passed me

When I got to the top of the Butte, I took a break at the summit and spent time cloud gazing. While cloud gazing I noticed something I’ve never seen before – a prism of color in the sky (like a little section of rainbow. I captured it as best I could with my smartphone camera:

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It was quite magical!

Audiobooks

I’ve listened to a lot of audiobooks lately (I borrow them from my local library and download them directly to my smartphone using the Overdrive app).

On Monday’s Pilot Butte hike however I listened to an audiobook I found for free on iTunes podcasts: High Performance Habits with Brendon Burchard by Brendon Burchard.

Here are the 6 habits which the author discusses in depth:

  • Seek Clarity
  • Generate Energy
  • Raise Necessity
  • Increase Productivity
  • Develop Influence
  • Demonstrate Courage

You can Google “High Performance Habits” or “Brendon Burchard” and find lots of information as well as YouTube videos such as the one below:

There are many gems in this book, here is one of them:

“Often, the journey to greatness begins the moment our preferences for comfort and certainty are overruled by a greater purpose that requires challenge and contribution” – Brendon Burchard

Now here is a list of the other audiobooks I have recently listened or am currently listening to:
  • Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks – a collection of short stories written by the actor Tom Hanks. I have listened to two stories so far (narrated by the author!) and so far it is AMAZING! Who knew this awesome actor is also an awesome writer?
  • Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman. This intriguing book is by the Pulitzer Prize winning author who also wrote The World is Flat and Hot, Flat and Crowded which explore the rapid changes to the world in the 21st century. His current book explores the extremely rapid technological changes and how we can survive them. I am only in the first section of the book but the author shares an awesome analogy (paraphased): If a car from the 1960s had advanced in technological development like the computer chip did, then cars of today would get 200,000 miles to the gallon and cost 4 cents.
  • Living an Examined Life: Wisdom for the Second Half of the Journey by James Hollis.  This is a complex but beautiful book and reads like poetry. Here is a nice summary of the book on the Sound True website: Living an Examined Life.
  • Waking Gods, and Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. These two books are part of a trilogy (I think it is a trilogy as I am currently anxiously awaiting the third book due to be released in May 2018). Unusual and exceptional science fiction presented in a very creative method: through a series of interviews. The audiobook performance is exceptional as it is done by a series of actors and they perform it in a way that you feel like you are listening to actual conversations. One of the best audiobook performances I’ve even listened to and a great engaging story!
  • Nine Women, One Dress by Jane Rosen. This was a fun “chick-lit” romantic comedy – predictable but fairly well written. The story is exactly as the title implies but very engaging!

You can follow me on Goodreads (I am “Tierneycreates” on Goodreads) if you want to follow what I am reading.

A Crafter's Life, Outside Adventures!, Special Events

Pilot Butte Posts

As part of the 4th year Blog Anniversary Celebration for tierneycreates, I am re-posting some favorite blog posts over the past 4 years throughout the month of October. Originally I was going to post just those with the most views or the most comments but I have decided to also randomly repost and that just totally cracked me up while I wrote them.

Yesterday I went hiking up Pilot Butte with a friend and her adorable Bernese Mountain Dog. 

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.

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Yesterday while hiking Pilot Butte I thought of my series of posts from 2015 – 2017 on my Pilot Butte hikes (Pilot Butte Adventures). Then at the end of our yesterday’s hike, a visit to the Pilot Butte Challenge Board made me think of a post from April 2016 (that cracked me up while I wrote it) on how my time up and down Pilot Butte, at my top pace, is still slower then the 95 year old’s record! (In case you did not know, I am quite younger than 95 years old)


MONDAY, AGAIN (original post 04/25/16)

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…).

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Audiobooks and 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:

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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”:

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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:

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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:

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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.

Postscript

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:

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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!

Audiobooks and Podcasts, Life in B&W, Outside Adventures!

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!

A Crafter's Life, Audiobooks and Podcasts, Outside Adventures!

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…

A Crafter's Life, Audiobooks and Podcasts

Tuesday…an update

The past five Mondays I hiked up or walked around Pilot Butte and shared my tale.

Sunday evening, 5/15/16,  I returned from a four-day quilt retreat at Sew-N-Go Quilt Retreat with my longtime “Quilt Sisters” from Oregon, Washington and California. Monday I spent recovering from my drive and unpacking (unpacking did involve trying to figure out what to do with the new fabric and quilting tools I acquired while at the quilt retreat…other quilters are bad influences!).

So I skipped Pilot Butte on Monday. I am not sure if the 2 mile walk with Terry “the Quilting Husband” and the dogs made up for it, but at least I did something besides fondling my new fabric purchases.

I will share my adventures related to quilt retreating in my posts the rest of this week, but I wanted to follow up on last week’s post The Monday, Post “Yard Bark Mulching” in which I discussed “xeriscaping” (low water landscaping with native plants) and laying down endless bark mulch.

One of the tierneycreates blog readers asked to see photos and here they are:


Xeriscaped Front Yard (with fresh hemlock bark mulch)


Another example of a Central Oregon xeriscaped yard from my neighborhood (they used rocks instead of bark mulch):

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Gratuitous flower photo: My lovely irises in bloom

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If you want to read more about xeriscaping check out the online publication Introduction to Xeriscaping in the High Desert.


Postscript

As I mentioned, the rest of the week I will share stories and photos from the quilt retreat I attended.

Currently I listening to the audiobook – The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life by Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh.

Parts of this book seem fairly esoteric, while other parts are deeply profound and very accessible. If you can be patient through some of the more scholarly sections (the author is a Harvard professor) you will be rewarded with timeless insights into human nature from ancient Chinese philosophers.

I feel I grow more enlightened by listening to this excellent audiobook.

The disease of men is that they neglect their own fields and go to weed the fields of others. – Mencius

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Photo credit: simonandschuster.com
A Crafter's Life, Outside Adventures!

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!

 

A Crafter's Life, Outside Adventures!

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!

A Crafter's Life, Outside Adventures!

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…).