Friday and Saturday, 22-Oct-2021 and 23-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 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*
After returning to camp, I could have packed up… but again, I wasn’t really in any rush for the day. I wanted to get back to the car before sunset, but… it’s all downhill, man. And I don’t walk too slowly anymore, so I felt confident enough tat I took it easy.
I stretched out in the sun, opened my book, and spent some time trying to understand the book that I’d brought with me… no easy task, since it’s a full-on psychotherapy dialogue, rooted in lessons earned during the authors time in concentration camps during the Holocaust. But worthwhile things take effort, and I feel positive about what I learned in that sun-dappled spot, in the middle of Oregon, surrounded by the peace and quiet of the mountains.
The hike out went even better than I could have hoped. I arrived back at the car with nearly an hour of sunlight left… which gave me easily enough time to quietly pack the car, take a few extra photos… and more importantly, even granted me the chance to revisit a favorite Tex-Mex restaurant in Bend (El Rodeo) that I hadn’t been to since the last time I’d hiked in the area.
A great trip, and a much appreciated chance to overwrite some negative memories with more positive ones… while also doing some significant introspection on that exact subject.