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Not a High Point, Doesn't Even Have a Name, But....
August 22, 2017
So, last weekend I visited my adventure buddy, Sue, in Bend, Oregon. What makes someone an adventure buddy you may ask? Well, it's basically someone who is down to do any outdoor excursion, no matter how brutal or scary. Sue is the only one of my friends who has not only entertained my idea of summiting mountains, but also joined me for several summits and summit attempts. The first mountain I ever summited was South Sister, and Sue was right by my side. The first time I attempted Hood, Sue was there. And, when Sue turned 50, we celebrated by ice climbing a waterfall on Mount Baker. Basically, an adventure buddy is someone with a similar and painful sense of what is fun and... is a badass!
Sue had an injury a few months ago, but that did not prevent her from venturing into the wilderness with me. For our weekend adventure, we hiked 7.5 miles into the Three Sisters Wilderness area to No Name Lake. No Name is a beautiful, glacial blue colored, alpine lake at the base of Broken Top, which is one of me favorite mountains to climb. We set up camp on the shores of No Name Lake and continued hiking up to a ridge, which overlooks the lake, Broken Top, and the Three Sisters (mountains). Even though the viewpoint was mostly invisible due to an abundance of wildfires, it was still epic and breathtaking.
I would like to say it was just the views that were epic, but the wind was pretty epic too. In fact, I went on a second hike up to the ridge to see if some of the smoke had cleared and during that time, the wind ripped our tent out of the ground. The tent started rolling into the lake with all of our gear in it, but thankfully Sue saved it. After she got the tent set up again, held down by ropes, tent stakes and piles of rock, the windy adventure did not end. We stood outside of the tent for another 30 minutes, holding on to it every time the gusts blew through camp.
At one point, I heard someone about two tents down say, "Fuck this shit, I am getting out of here!" Next thing you know the tent was gone, along with the two humans it belonged too. I don't know where they went. It was past 7:00pm and the nearest trailhead was multiple miles away. This is when I looked at Sue and said, "Worst case scenario, we pack up the tent and sleep exposed in our sleeping bags." I always like to acknowledge the worst case scenario, so that if it doesn't actually happen, I feel quite lucky.
Well, call me lucky, the worst case scenario did not happen. Around 7:30pm, we jumped in the tent and every few minutes, whenever the wind would blow, we did aerobics in order help hold it up. It was a dead serious ab work out to snatch one pole with a toe across the tent and grab another with my arm. I kept saying that once the sun went down that the wind would go with it, but that was not at all what happened.
Throughout the night I would wonder if Sue was still awake, like me, and would quickly find out the answer when the wind would blow and both our arms would go up. At one point, Sue was attempting to read and the tent whipped into the book and smacked her in the face. Following this event, we found ourselves in a fit of laughter. That's the difference between camping alone and camping with someone else. It is beautiful regardless, but when shit hits the fan, you can find some humor in it if you are with someone else. Well, that is if you are with the right person.
Absolutely exhausted from a night of holding up a tent in a wind storm, the next morning we packed up camp and headed out. Even though it was a sleepless night, I wouldn't have traded it in for the world. Afterwards, we went back to Sue's house where we got to clean off in her amazing outdoor shower. Then we headed to Worthy Brewing for some burgers and beers. While at the brewery we mapped out 5-6 more backpacking and mountain climbing trips to do during the remainder of the summer and fall season. The night ended with a final beer in a hot tub. Needless to say, it was a fantastic trip.
Food: When I arrived at Sue's house on Friday night, she cooked me up numerous veggies (carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and bell peppers) on her grill, which we enjoyed with a local brew. After the hike, on Sunday, we went to Worthy Brewing where I thoroughly enjoyed a burger with cheese and a side salad.