When most people were driving down the mountain I was headed up. Maybe this story will explain why my crowd of friends have always been a little bit crazy, rebellious, trouble making, rule breaking bad asses.
At 4 o'clock PM I headed toward the Tumalo Mountain Trailhead. My gear was packed and mind was ready for a new adventure. I would be sleeping on top of Tumalo Mountain in Central Oregon, at 8000 feet with no shelter. I camped in the back bowl last year while filming a backcountry ski video with REI, but never on the summit during early spring.
I started skinning up Tumalo around 5 o’clock at which time the trail was still slushy from a warm afternoon. I took the hike one slow step at time. My body was still a bit fatigued from a ten mile trail run only hours prior. Over the course of the last 500 feet the wind started to really pick up. On the summit I would meet a consistent breeze of 20 MPH. This was enough for me to know that without a wind block I would have a miserable night. I got to work!
On the summit I found a place to build my shelter that would provide me with a view of the mountains and sunset from my sleeping bag. (see photos below) I built a wall that would protect my body from the wind, which was becoming more fierce. After the wall was complete I crawled into the protection of my sleeping bag. Aww! What a beautiful view and amazing place to relax. I thought!
I enjoyed a pre-made dinner, read some pages from my book “The Passion Test” and the sun began to set.
As the sun set on the snow capped mountain tops my mind drifted into a meditative state. I was reflecting on life in general. It is really incredible to see how much my relationships, happiness health, physical fitness and passion has changed over the last year. I asked myself some deep and rather personal questions on the mountain top that evening.
And, today I think I found the answers. It is amazing what you can find if you just look inside yourself. Calm your mind, listen and stop looking around. The answers will come.
I spent the night sleeping under a star filled sky with moon lit mountains in the back drop. Each time I awoke the mountains were there. Peacefully sitting still in the vast wilderness. The wind never died down during the night and I wrestled with getting good sleep, but one poor night of sleep was worth the experience.
It is amazing where our feet can take us with a little willingness to do things outside of what others would perceive as a normal adventure. My friends and I have always been those swho seek an extraordinary adventure that creates stories of amazement. That will never change!
Now, I am off for another ten mile trail run in Shevlin Park. Let this wonderful adventure of life continue..........
Summit as friends!
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