If you read my last post, you saw that I drove the 4 1/2 hours down to Bend, Oregon to see an art show and found my childhood home at a museum. I spent one night in Bend and found two quick, easy trails to walk the next morning. First of all I enjoyed Shevlin Park, a large park right on the edge of the city, then I spiraled up Pilot Butte.
Bend is in central Oregon, so it’s much more arid than where I live. Thus in October the weather is more reliable, and possibly more pleasant, if one likes sunshine more than rain. The morning was outstanding, and before I climbed into my Jeep I had to stop and photograph the moon over the city. Then I drove on to the park to meet a friend and explore the trails on a crisp Autumn morning in October.
Shevlin Park is very close to town, and is quite large. It’s a great option for locals to escape the tourists throngs, or for tourists like me who also enjoy nature sans people. The trails are mostly flat, so it’s good for children and bikes and dogs and anything else family friendly. There is lots of access to the creek, so of course I spent some time poking around in the water and climbing onto logs.
I found out that an explorer I recently mentioned in my Modocs posts, John C. Frémont, camped here along the creek December 5, 1843, three years before his appearance in the Modoc story.
After an hour or two at Shevlin, it was time for me to move on. I opened up my AllTrails app to see what was nearby and it recommended Pilot Butte. This trail is within city limits, and I read that there are only two volcanic cinder cones within city limits in the entire state. The other cinder cone is Mt. Tabor in Portland, and I have hiked Mt. Tabor hundreds of times! I thought that was a sign that I needed to climb Pilot Butte, so off I went.
While Shevlin Park was a nice, relatively pretty, tame, flat, easy trail, Pilot Butte was remarkable. It’s a cone, and the trail coils up in a spiral. That was fun, because I was able to wrap around and see the same view again, only from higher up. But also, it’s a cone in the city of Bend, so I had awesome views of the city constantly. At the top it is a no-joke 360 degree view, which is neat. Within that view are some interesting geologic formations, so that also makes it appealing. I’ll point them out in the photos below.
I rose above the trees and was treated to grand views across the valley in all directions.
It was time to descend. I took my time and enjoyed the views all over again as I went back down the hill.
I decided two trails were enough and it was time to make the long drive home, so I went back to the hotel and checked out, and then headed north on Highway 97. On the way down the morning before, I had stopped at Warm Springs and dropped off a load of goods while they were in the middle of a goods drive to distribute stuff to residents. It was super cool. Everyone who wanted stuff lined up in their cars, then slowly drove in a loop around a parking lot. A whole bunch of volunteers loaded up their cars with clothing, cleaning supplies, masks, food, water, camp gear, etc. No one had to touch anyone and none of the visitors had to touch the supplies. Anyway, this was a day later and I was thinking about my friends at Warm Springs of course. Glad for clearer skies these days compared to most of the summer, but still aware of fires that have yet to be put out on the western border of the reservation, near Mt. Jefferson.
As I drove through, I could clearly see wildfires still burning. I’m not sure if these are new fires or the same old fires. It’s still so upsetting to see.
I pulled in to my farm, which I call Dragon Manor because it had to have a name and because I love dragons…anyway I pulled into Dragon Manor before it got dark and I had time to say “hey!” to the chickens and rub Racecar’s belly and start a load of laundry before the day ended.