Tag Archives: Oregon

An annual(ish) trip up to Green Lakes!

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Saturday and Sunday, 29-Oct-2022 and 30-Oct-2022


It’s Halloween already, isn’t it? How did I miss that it’s already Halloween?



It had been a year. A busy, adventure-filled, amazing, challenging, ridiculous year. Full of evolution, change, growth, and movement forward toward the future.

But October found me back somewhere I’ve been quite a few times before… reflecting on how much has changed since the last time I was there. To an extent… but, frankly, also appreciating the calm moment to just not think about everything. To relax, to unwind, and to appreciate the cold wind and clear skies.


I’ve been to Green lakes… Ohh, probably at least seven times. Once a year, give or take, and probably a few more times that I’m not quite remembering. It’s calm, beautiful, and I’ve gotten to know the area pretty well at this point. It’s comforting, and I’m always thankful for the weekends that I can make it up.



This year, I went out a bit later than normal – Or so I thought. In retrospect, looking back at previous photos and such, it seems that mid to late October is pretty normal of a time for me to go out… interesting. I don’t quite recall there being this much so any other time, so… Hmm. interesting, in any respect.


I got out fairly early in the day, with the goal of getting to camp before sunset – Shorter days, less hiking time, the usual. I was aiming to arrive and make camp with maybe half an hour of daylight left… and instead, I got there with nearly two hours of daylight to enjoy! I was happily surprised – I’ve been hiking and working out a lot more these last few years, but haven’t been seeing too much progress, and I freely admit that it’s been a bit draining on my psyche. After absolutely crushing this, and my last, hike… I’m starting to see why I haven’t seen much progress.

I’ve been continually moving forward, and doing harder and harder hikes. Middle Sister was exceptionally challenging… but that’s because it’s a challenging hike. It’s not even really a hike – it’s a technical ascent! Of course it should be hard!

Anyways, I made it with tons of time to explore, relax, and enjoy myself… and then, to sleep. Like, so early. I legitimately was tucked into my sleeping bag drifting off by 8:00, I think.



The next morning I woke up late.

That’s right. Asleep by 8:00, and still asleep at 10:30. Awwww yeah, be amazed at that sleep debt I carry. Or… just at how much I enjoy being curled up in a sleeping bag in the freezing woods? It was exceptionally windy that night… Windy enough that I had woken up and actually got out of the tent to better secure my cooking gear and hiking poles!



Regardless of how long I slept, I got up. I broke fast, I supped upon coffee, and I enjoyed the cold. I took some time to boil off water for myself to bring home. I thought… a bit. But mostly, I simply let myself enjoy the cold world around me, either through my own eyes or through the lens of a camera.

It.

Was.

Excellent.



The drive home found me a bit hungry… and the random pizza place that I’d spotted along the drive in was closed by the time I made it by. A quick stop for gas gave me time to do a quick websearch, and soon enough I had found a small neighborhood bar and grill to slack my need for a huge bacon burger… and a chance to read some interesting roadside signs!

A fitting end, if I do say to myself.

Backpacking Elk Meadows in September

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Saturday and Sunday, 24-Sept-2022 & 25-Sept-2022


Wow… I can’t believe it’s been this long since I’ve gone backpacking up at Elk Meadows. It’s been… what? Since at least 2021… So over a year, from my records. 13 months.

For this being my go-to hike, that’s kind of a long time.

I mean, okay. Granted, I’ve hiked Elk Meadows a ton of times since then. Let’s see… three other times? More than any other hike, by a good margin, so it still counts as a go-to. Just… less backpacking this year, I think. Yeah – four times this year, vs. six last year. But there’s still time, I have faith I’ll get another few in this year.

Anyways I went backpacking at Elk Meadows


It was a lovely weekend – I started off by having brunch at Timberline Lodge, getting a chance to sit down at the Cascade Dining room for their buffet and snacking on some excellent fancy restaurant fare. It was… good… but not great, frankly. COVID’s hit everyone hard, especially the tourism industry, and it felt like the Lodge was still severely understaffed. I was patient though, snacked as I could, and soon enough was parked and heading up the trail to Elk.


The hike was lovely – I went pretty much non-stop, working on my endurance a bit, and pushing to hike a little bit more quickly than I normally would. Not being in a rush, mind you, just… pushing my body a little bit. Exulting in my strength and endurance, and seeing how far I could push those limits.

I made camp in a new campsite for me, since there were folks in my normal ones, and set about exploring the meadow. It was interesting – the meadow was more crowded than I think I’ve ever seen it before, with a grand total of maybe half a dozen people camped around various spots. It was almost loud… not significantly so, of course, and not enough to overwhelm the sounds of nature, but… still. Loud enough that it was noticeable and memorable.

I relaxed.

I ate dinner, read my book, and stargazed.

I slept gloriously, and woke up excellently refreshed.

I explored the meadows again in the morning. Stretching out, warming up the muscles, and appreciating the cool and sunny day.

I finished my book, packed up, and walked back to the car.

It was a good day.



Ohh! One interesting thing of note – My campstove had given me trouble on Middle Sister, if you recall, so I pulled it apart before heading out to Elk Meadows… dissassembled the whole thing, cleaned and rinsed it, and made sure everything was back in its proper place. Works like a charm, now!

Just a reminder to people – You’re always capable of troubleshooting stuff!

Oktoberfest at Mt. Angel

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Sunday, 18-Sept-2022


Ages back, a coworker of mine had an unbelievably good smelling lunch. It was potatoes and some kind of sausage, from what I could tell, and when I asked him about it he filled me in that it was from a butcher in a town called “Mt. Angel”.

I never did make it to that butcher… but I’ve had a note in my grocery list to track those sausages down ever since. When I heard from the same coworker that Mt. Angel was hosting one of the largest Oktoberfest celebrations in Oregon… well, two birds with one stone, yeah?

I pinged my neighbors, we piled into the car, and headed over!!


First off… not sure why, but I really thought it was just down the street. Not… like, a 45min drive away. Weird, right? Not sure why I thought it was close, but… yeah. Anyways, we drove. We parked, we caught a ride on a tractor to get into the center of town. It was cool.

The Oktoberfest itself was… interesting. I can’t tell if it was underwhelming because I’m not really into huge fairs, or if I’m off my normal thanks to living under the threat of a global pandemic for almost three years… but it was strange and less than super fun being in a massive crowd of people.

Granted, the group of folks marching (yes, literally marching) through the event with their huge banners and bullhorns shouting about how we’re all sinners who need to repent (via a cash donation) or die (in a fiery hell) didn’t really help the atmosphere… but thankfully they disappeared fairly quickly.

I like to think they were either called back down to the underworld by their dark masters, or they were imprisoned in the phantom zone by Superman, but… maybe someone finally just hit them until they stopped talking?

Anyways.



It was interesting, fun to get back into a huge street fair, and I was able to pick up quite a few excellent beers and hunks of delicious sausage.

I’ll take it as a win, for a first foray back into a remotely normal world.