On Personal Victories

Part VII: Guts

My re-arrival in Corvallis was surprisingly, um…, not bad.  I stayed at the 317 house, and I got to be new Kevin for a few nights before their new roommate displaced to the couch.  Some highlights of the week was a completely sublime river floating trip with a couple friends, seeing most of the people who are still around Corvallis that I will miss, drinking delicious beer…

One of the things that has been on my mind lately is conquering personal shortcomings.  Believe it or not, I think I have a handful of them.  A couple of large personal victories happened recently, one of them is a matter of the heart, and I won’t discuss that here.  What I will talk about, though, is South Sister.

Near Bend, Oregon, there are three mountains in a row called the three Sisters.  The south one is the tallest and, unlike the other two, doesn’t require any technical skills.  Jake has been talking about climbing all three of them for a while now.  Well, we did the south one.  We left Corvallis on Saturday evening, camped Saturday night, got up at 2 am on Sunday and were the first ones up to the top.  As an unplanned bonus, there was a meteor shower that peaked between 2 and 5, so our hike up to the top was under a cascade of shooting stars.  The hike was 6 miles each way, gaining 5,000 feet elevation up to 10,000 feet, which is the third highest peak in Oregon.  I think that climbing up in the dark was definitely the way to go.  We didn’t see anyone on the trail, and we couldn’t see how far we had left to go.  Although, we climbed over two things that we absolutely did not need to, but it was worth it.  The final ascent was on lose soil and rocks at about as inclined as you can get without having to crawl.  When we finally made it to the top, it was spectacular.  There is a huge glacier that sits inside of the crater at the summit, and from the top you can see Middle Sister, North Sister, Mt. Washington, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Hood (!!!), Mt. Bachelor, Broken Top, as well as a handful of other mountains that I didn’t know what they were and some lava fields and the highest elevated lake in Oregon called Tear Drop Lake made by glacier melt.  Anyway, it was an awesome experience and I’m glad Jake and I got to do it.

I am in Jackson Hole now at my uncle’s place.  I will write more about this later.

As an aside from my adventures, I ought to point you in the direction of my friend ::Lauren’s Blog::.  She mentioned me in a post the other day, and by no means is this pure reciprocity, but instead, a call to go read her blog.  She has been traveling around for the past two years, and has recently started writing this blog about travel advice, and general insight into life, the universe and everything.

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