The plan: In order to hike 17 miles with John on Saturday, he was going to drive us forty six miles up trail Thursday to a resort where we would southbound two days back to Sisters. Then on Sunday, he would drive us back up to the same spot where we would start northbound again.
What really happened: The drive took nearly three hours. At 5,000 feet, it was still raining and it was 44 degrees at 1:30 p.m. Then, the last three miles of road to the trail was closed. I said, "John, I know we just spent all day getting up here, but can we go home with you, too?"
The section we were to hike ascended to 6,900 feet in a few miles and skirted the North and Western slopes of Mt. Jefferson; presently the site of the most on-trail snow in all of Oregon. Seeing sunshine in Sisters, I had deliberately ditched the pot and stove for lightweight hiking. Having frozen my hands the previous day, Old Steve chose caution over adventure and keeping to his schedule.
So what did we do instead? Well, we drove back to Sisters with a very patient (and sleepy) Luke and Travis (l-r, respectively), John and I rode mountain bikes through the backyard to the national forest and over to the brewery where we met the ladies and kids for dinner, and then Jane and I took another day off here today. This morning to 37 degrees in Sisters at 3,000 feet where we would have camped last night. We made the right choice. This morning we explored the town, and in the afternoon we came home to babysit so John and Mandy could go for a run.
For all you girls going into tenth grade on Monday, first of all I remember when you were going into third grade and that's terrifying. Secondly, I am a master of fun with three year-olds. Babies don't talk and we all know I can't hold 'em right. But three year-olds, I don't make cry.
John fed the kiddies, Mandy made an amazing dinner, and of course, I ate a lot. I should mention that John is similarly crazy to the LandShark in that he has lots of crazy ideas. The difference is he manages to make even more of his ideas into reality. He's presently building a 16 foot tall drop-in ramp for snowboards in winter and bikes in summer. The snowboard run will basically be a jump and a rail, but the bike run will be a third of a mile loop around their new five acre property. And he's building all this while he's a stay-at-home dad for two energetic boys! You could say he's my hero.
Tomorrow we will do the 17 miles with John and then start north on Sunday. If we can bust out 25 miles a day for six days straight, we'll get into Washington just one day behind. And then we'll get rained on more.