Hikes 1 and 2 or: The Quilted Canyon.

June 20, 2011

I decided to begin my endeavor with a proverbial “bang.”

To celebrate the coming summer months, as well as my goal to complete 300 hikes during the course of the year, I decided to take a backpacking trip. There is no better way to feel a sense of freedom than to leave work early on little more than a whim, gather only the necessities, and hit highway 126.

Thanks to William Sullivan’s 100 Hikes in the Central Oregon Cascades, I found a remote place outside of Sisters called Alder Springs. Heading through the dense forest felt a little like going down the rabbit hole. Coming out on the other side I was faced with the dry, dusty desert of eastern Oregon.

Dirt: the snow of the desert.

I immediately regretted my decision to forego the sunscreen. The sun is a formidable opponent, and I was ill prepared to deal with the barrage of UV rays. Fortune was, however, on my side, as the canyon walls offered some shade from the afternoon heat. I scrambled from cave to cave hoping to minimize the potentially disfiguring burns I admittedly deserved for my lack of foresight.

Thank you, Brother Canyon.

The canyon was not the only acquaintance I made along the way. A friendly moth stopped for a quick snack on a wildflower and graciously allowed me to photograph her. I warned her that a photographer I am not, yet she seemed none too worried. I must say that despite her being mid-slurp, I think she would find the picture to her liking.

Proboscis.

As I made my descent deeper into the canyon, a transformation of sorts took place before my very eyes. The spring for which the trail is named nourishes what can only be described as an oasis. The sudden burst of green is almost startling when placed beside the barren dusty desert. Mother Nature seems to revel in juxtaposition.

The trail soon comes to an apparent end, but it continues if you’re willing to brave the spring water. The water came slightly above my knees, and the current was faster than I had anticipated, though I made it across unscathed. The other side offers plenty of perfectly suitable campsites, and I soon found a comfortable place to call home. I pitched my tent, ate a simple meal, read, and prepared for bed.

Nothing looks more inviting after a hike.

The morning brought with it rain. I woke early and read, hoping to wait out the bad weather. There’s little more to say. Wet wet wet. Even the shelters of grass inhabited by caterpillars were unable to keep out the rain. We all got washed away.

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One Response to “Hikes 1 and 2 or: The Quilted Canyon.”

  1. Claudia said

    Your pictures are great…this is going to be fun to follow you..

    claud

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