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Archive for August 15th, 2006

Destination: Before Howlock Trail
Starting Location: Past Rim Drive Today’s Miles: 21.50
Trip Miles: 1864.60
Past Rim Drive (1842, 7057) to Before Howlock Trail (1863.5, 7306) ascent (4173) descent (3970)

Truthfully, my balls were in my throat as I pulled myself up the last 80 feet of Mt Thielsen Pinnacle Summit. Sunny, an accomplished climber, had advised us to not go up anything without looking to ensure we could get ourselves down, and Rolling Thunder gave me a 10 second lesson on 3 points of contact at all times. I would have never tried this alone but my friends helped me summit a route that is reported to be the toughest scramble in Oregon. Both Sunny & Thunder were surprised the route was advertised as not needing ropes and commented that it was as difficult as you would want to without rope safety. And it was awesome! I was so excited as I summated first while Thunder coached me on the route from below. Then came Thunder & Tadpole who was being coached by Sunny. The 4 of us on top of an amazing pinnacle of rock. I will never forget this experience and those who helped me achieve something I did not think I could do.
The quote of the day: Tadpole – “what if farting was considered attractive?” Sunny – “Then you would be a super model”.
New Balance shoes are not making the grade on this hike. In the desert they were okay but were shot at 400 miles. In the rough volcanic rocks of Oregon my current pair is trashed after 200 miles. The Montrail Hardrocks, that Thunder is wearing, in contrast are wearing great I will switch to Hardrocks in Sisters and anticipate 1 pair will take me across all of Washington.
We talked a lot today about where we each draw our ethical lines & how the decisions are made. I decided not to camp on the rim of Crater Lake as it is against park rules. In contrast I crossed a fire closure area & I camped at Deep Creek (also prohibited). Each one of these decisions was completely conscious. I do not feel good about being selective regarding which rules I follow yet I will continue to do so. I think being mindful is the key while evaluating my own ethics in each situation that comes up. Once again a continuum of options is available & we each choose our own spot on the continuum which we are comfortable with.

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