Tag Archives: Oregon backpacking

Backpacking Foley Ridge, and exploring Linton Meadows


Friday through Sunday, 08-July-2022 through 10-July-2022

Ohh man… the last time I was at Husband lake was… well, not even a year ago, in fact.

Time these days seems to flow… differently. I don’t know how else to say it, but I can’t quite tell the difference between something that happened a year ago, six months ago, or two years ago. Maybe a relic of the new world we live in? Maybe an effect of the chaos and challenges in the office? Whatever it is… It was sure a surprise when I realized that it’s only been ~9months since I was last camped out underneath the stars at Husband Lake.

This time, however, was a bit different.
– I was flying solo, for one. No one to help carry the gear, though also no one to coordinate with.
– It was snowy at the lakes area, which was a major shift. I was expecting a warm day hiking in, but the most recent trip reports mentioned quite a bit of snow still at the far end of the trail… so I packed in some snowshoes.
– I was staying for three days, not two. I had a long weekend to spend out and about, and was looking forward to spending it away from cell signal and the light from monitors.
– Mosquitoes.

With those changes in mind, I packed a slightly different pack than previously. More food, of course, but I also left my inflatable kayak behind. I just couldn’t afford the extra weight, especially with the snowshoes strapped onto my pack. I’d bought them the weekend before, and… I’ll be candid here, I really should have noted the weight when I bought them. They weren’t light, by any stretch of the imagination, and I’d 100% come to regret those extra pounds by the end of the trip.

But we’re talking about the beginning, not the end! In the beginning, I was feeling good.
Scratch that – I was feeling great.

The drive to the trailhead was gorgeous. Sunny, warm, and absolute perfect convertible weather. I got going fairly early in the morning, and listened to amazing music the whole way out. Not emo, by any stretch, but… wistful? Wistful electronic music, if that makes any sense. (Ed Note: See the link below to the flagship song from Ben’s playlist!)

I drove, I parked, I hiked.

I felt good! I had my knee braces on, of course, but I felt strong. Or… I felt exhausted, and tired by the heavier-than-normal pack, but I felt up for the hike. I was able to push through, and I kept my legs moving and my arms swinging. My poles planted firmly, my boots were stable, and my progress was consistent.

I was… I was good!

I’ve learned something, in the last few years.

I need to meditate. I need the quiet times, when I can let my brain wander.

But I can’t sit and meditate like a monk in a mountaintop retreat. My body craves action and movement. I come alive when I’m kinetic, when I’m burning energy and traveling through the world. Life is movement for me, and movement is life.

So how do I rectify these opposing requirements? I drive. I hike, I climb, and I move. But I move in ways that allow distraction. They provide distance from my phone, and from the never-ending stream of information and distraction that our global society provides. I escape, distract my body, and force my mind to look inward and outward and all around.

It’s glorious, and I absolutely have my best thoughts and epiphanies while driving or hiking. Unsurprisingly, this excursion was no different.

I thought, my mind wandered.

I made it to camp, I set up the tent, and I allowed my mind to continue wandering.

I read some of my book, I ate food, and I hid from the mosquitoes. From the seemingly infinite crush of buzzing bloodsucking bastards. I learned that my citronella wristbands didn’t work, and I hid inside my protected tent and enjoyed the peace that only comes from being disconnected from the internet and the infinite connectivity it provides.

The next day dawned bright and cold.

I got up, cooked my breakfast, and read a bit more of my book. I pondered some of my epiphanies from the previous days hike, and braced myself to brave the stinging, biting, buzzing world outside my insect-proof mesh.

When I did leave my shielded room, I moved quickly. I’d learned that I had approximately 15s before the mosquitoes found me, so I packed my gear in my tent and then zipped off into the valley between The Husband and The Three Sisters.

I wandered, and took breaks whenever I found a nice spot that was sufficiently windy to shield me from the bloodthirsty masses. I gazed at the mountains, let my mind wander, and loved being active and outside. It was amazing!

That evening, I rested some more and kept the theme of reading and pondering. I’d had some unexpected news about my job the previous week, so I had a lot to think about… next steps, options, future paths that I could find myself on. It was good to have the disconnected downtime.

My last morning was cold and beautiful – just like the previous morning, but even clearer than I’d hoped it would be. The mountains were gorgeous in the distance, and I wished that I had infinite time and energy to just walk right up to the peaks that seemed only a few miles distant.

I know, I know. I skipped a lot of time, here… but you know what? It’s hiking and meditating and reading. What do you expect, hmm? Most of my blog posts about hikes are just “Hey, I hiked. It was fun. Then I finished”. This is pretty exceptional detail, here!

Okay. I ate breakfast, and hiked out. I went quickly, keeping to the “only stop for 12s, or when it’s windy” rule to avoid the mosquitoes. I made amazing time, in fact, finishing back at my car in approximately half the time it took me to hike in.

I drove home, listening to the same music as I had on the drive in… but pausing it more often to consider some of the ideas and plans I’d come up with on the hike.

Pretty sure that’s a good sign, if I’ve ever seen one.

Appendix A: Music Video. “I miss the future” by Lost Kings

Appendix B: Mosquitoes.
I didn’t really make it clear just how many of these absolute bastards I ran into. Single slaps would smoosh 3+ mosquitoes most times… I think my max was five.
Coming home, I counted ~160 bites on my body… though interestingly none of them really itched. Not sure if it’s a new type of ‘skeeter, or if my body was just so absolutely inundated by histamines that it couldn’t process.

Backpacking to Green Lakes – Visiting the Sisters!


Friday and Saturday, 22-Oct-2021 and 23-Oct-2021

Friday, 22-Oct-2021

It all started with an epic odyssey in search of coffee and breakfast.

I swear, that wasn’t the plan.

The plan was simple – get going early, pick up coffee and a breakfast sandwich, and stuff some coffee packets into my backpack before getting to the trailhead before 11.

But as we all know, simple isn’t always viable, and sometimes the world wants me to take an epic odyssey all over Bend, searching for a Starbucks that’s actually freaking open.

Yeah, so everyone’s heard of the whole “labor shortage” thing, right? And, I hope, the counter stories about workers applying to dozens of “desperately needed” jobs, only to get a single half-hearted interview?

Well, without passing judgement on which new story is lying, I can say that the Starbucks in Bend are annoying me, and that they’re understaffed… to say the least.

I stopped at four Starbucks before I finally found on that was open… and even then, they didn’t have what I was looking for “due to supply shortages”

Seriously. I didn’t make it to the trailhead ’till almost 1:00!

But you know what?

That’s fine. It’s all fine – I’m not in a rush; the trail to Green Lakes is only 5 or 7 miles each way (I think it’s officially 4.55miles to the lakes area, with a few more spent trying to find a campsite), and I still had quite a bit of daylight left. My bag was packed, I was ready to go, and the trail was waiting for me.

Adequately caffeinated, I started into the woods.

It’s… interesting. Green Lakes was one of those hikes that Sarah and I did regularly when we were still a semi-happy young couple. But I couldn’t tell you the last time I’d been out there… and frankly, I don’t know why we stopped going. It had been a tradition, for a little while, but… as with everything it seemed to have withered and died on the vine.

Going in by myself was interesting, with that context in mind. I enjoyed the familiar views, and appreciated seeing them with new eyes. I took photos, I reflected, and I continued walking until it was time to stop.

In the evening, I set up camp before heading out to explore the large Moraine flowing to the South of South Sister – It’s a very interesting geological feature, full of neat pumice stones and obsidian chunks. I watched the sunset, and appreciated the quiet and solitude of the wilderness.

Dinner was had, my book was read, and sleep came easily.

Saturday, 23-Oct-2021

Saturday dawned bright and cold – my absolute favorite was for a dawn to break.

Instead of cooking breakfast at camp, I was feeling exploratory… so I bundled up the breakfast bits and headed out toward Green Lake itself, aiming to cook up some oatmeal and jerky. With, of course, my hard-earned coffee!

Of interesting note – I got to watch various Instagrammers doing their product-placement photoshoots while I cooked and ate… One lady and her dog posed with beef jerky sticks, while another did handstands in exceptionally well-fitted yoga pants, while her fried photographed the hand lotion balanced on her feet… before saying that they should have brought their sponsored trash bags too.

It was interesting. I’m not hugely against it, mind you, but it’s definitely interesting.

After enjoying a lovely slow breakfast, I re-packed the gear, and took a walk. I’d been to Green Lakes, as I mentioned, but I hadn’t even gone past the Northern border of the camping area… There was no rush to the day, and my legs were feeling good, so I set my sights on a far-off ridgeline, and started walking.

The trail was beautiful, and I’m absolutely thankful that I took the time to explore – Green Lakes has excellent views, but the views of Broken Top from the ridgeline were unique, and the light was just,.. *muah*