Just got back from a long weekend in Central Oregon. I was there primarily for my high school class reunion. But while I was there, my sister Susan and brother, Alan joined me in a wilderness adventure to remember and honor our dad.
We repeated a 12 mile loop that Alan had done with Dad a number of years ago. I have attached seven pictures to illustrate what we did. We first climbed to the top of Tam McArthur Rim (2,400 feet elevation gain in 2.6 miles). The first picture shows the view from on top. Then we hiked toward a rocky outcrop that Alan named “Arizona Rock” when he was a real little guy and didn’t know it had already been named. It’s real name is “Broken Hand”. The second picture shows us approaching Broken Hand (with the mountain, Broken Top in the background). The third picture shows Broken Hand itself. We climbed it. A little scary for me and Susan, out of practice as we are. A piece of cake for Alan, a world renowned rock climber (see next to last picture for him in his prime.)
Then we downclimbed. Even scarier (for two of us). We skirted around the side of Broken Hand, involving more rock climbing. Then the truly beautiful part of the day. We were hiking through incredibly beautiful wild flowers. They can be seen in the mountains only during a window of maybe three weeks — after the snow has melted and before the sun bakes them. We descended to a glacial lake that I have been told has been named Ruth Lake. It is at the base of Broken Top. As you can see in the fourth picture, the beauty is breathtaking. And the picture, trust me, does not come close to giving it justice.
All that was left was to complete the loop. Climbing down those 2,400 vertical feet were a test for weary legs for my sister and me. Not for Alan. He practically lives in these mountains. Then a dinner together in Sisters, to complete a perfect day.
We reminisced about many such days with our dad. With him in the lead, none of us ever worried about a thing. He knew the way. He would keep us safe and get us out of danger. It was a similar feeling Susan and I had hiking with Alan. But not quite the same.
Alan told us it would happen, and it did. We felt Dad hiking with us. We looked around at the incredible views in a 360 degree radius and were filled with memories. Dad is everywhere. He will always be alive whenever we return to the mountains he loved.